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Silliman University resumes classes after teachers end strike

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Classes will resume on Tuesday at the Silliman University here following the lifting of a three-day strike staged last week by the teacher’s union.

Mark Raygan Garcia, Director of the Office of Information and Publication (OIC) of Silliman University, said that both parties had reached an agreement over the weekend, and the teachers who went on strike will return to work Tuesday.

Silliman University does not hold classes every Monday, a practice for many years now.

The agreement, according to Garcia, was reached Friday evening following a whole-day meeting between the contending parties and the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) in Negros Oriental.

In its statement, the TIPC-Negros Oriental said it had offered to mediate the labor dispute between the university administration and the union.

“Silliman offered its existing offer which was before based on projected enrollments and revenues to now based on actual enrollments and revenues this year.”

The re-computation allowed the university to improve its package offer for 407 regular academic personnel for three years in SY 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019, the TIPC statement said.

Salaries and benefits for the academic personnel alone will now be over P230 million a year, TIPC added in its statement.

The Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA), headed by its president, Assistant Professor Jan Credo, declared a strike at all levels last Wednesday, with union members picketing major gates and entry/exit points at the university for three days until Friday evening when the agreement was reached.

SUFA was asking for some P86 million in wages and other benefits while the SU administration only offered P63-million.

The TIPC-Negros Oriental congratulated both parties “for this victory of industrial peace”. (Judy Flores Partlow/PNA)