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Labor strike looms at Silliman Univesity

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DUMAGUETE CITY – A labor strike looms at a premier learning institution here after the Silliman University Faculty Association (SUFA) and the school administration reached a deadlock in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

On Monday, SUFA members officially announced the results of their strike vote, with 241 in favor of a strike while only two were against it, said Karl James Villarmea, a professor at the Silliman University Divinity School and member of the group’s negotiating panel.

The strike vote was held June 26, some three weeks after the Notice of Strike was filed, he said.

Villarmea confirmed on Tuesday that the SUFA had filed a Notice of Strike with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) in Region 7 based in Cebu City on the ground that a deadlock between the contending parties was declared last May 17.

The SU administration and the SUFA started negotiations as early as April as part of the university’s regular process of reviewing the CBA every three years even though its validity was for five years, he said.

The negotiations mainly focused on the proposed adjustment of wages, he added.

However, Villarmea said both parties failed to reach an agreement, with the SU administration allegedly wanting to further review the proposals of the union.

Now that the strike vote was conducted and officially reported to the NCMB, the SUFA has seven days after the official announcement to go on strike, he added.

Tentatively, the SUFA is looking at commencing the strike on Monday, July 9, for an indefinite period until an agreement is reached with the university administration.

Two marathon sessions were held Sunday and Monday here by the NCMB Region 7 representatives. On July 4, the contending parties will be summoned to Cebu for the same purpose, Villarmea said. (PNA)

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