Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bill seeks to strengthen state workers' right

Lawmakers seek to amend some sections of Executive Order 180 to strengthen the right of government employees to self-organization.

Akbayan Party-list Reps. Angelina L. Katoh and Ibarra H. Gutierrez III filed House Bill 6199 to reinforce union participation in Public Sector Labor-Management Council (PSLMC) and to upgrade the rules governing the exercise of the right to self-organization of state workers.

"This bill seeks to strengthen the constitutional mandate under paragraph 5, section 2, B, Article IX of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which states that government employees shall not be denied to self-organization," said Katoh.

The proposed measure seeks to clarify the coverage of membership in government unions. It also seeks to limit the type of workers that can be excluded from union coverage.

The bill shall cover all rank and file government employees whose functions are not coterminous or high level in nature.

It shall be applicable to all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters.

HB 6199 also aims to define what constitute as unfair labor practices that undermine the right to self-organization.

It shall also provide the penalty for officers of agencies that will engage in unfair labor practices. Any heads of offices and other officers of the agency and on the part of the employee organization who participate in an unfair labor management practice shall be held administratively liable.

The bill likewise defines the procedure on how collective negotiations agreement should be carried out between government agencies and state workers unions.

It shall contain terms and conditions of employment or improvements except those that are fixed by law which may be subject to negotiations.

Lastly, the created national PSLMC under EO 180 shall be attached with the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

It shall also establish a Regional Public Sector Labor Management Board composed of heads of Regional Offices and Regional Representatives of the public sector union.

"To strengthen the union participation in the (PSLMC), setting up of regional PSLMCs is likewise proposed in order to immediately address issues involving state unions based in the regions," said Katoh.

The PSLMC in general shall assist in the promulgation of rules and regulations and the formation and development of programs regarding government employees' rights.

The council shall also exercise jurisdiction over inter and intra employees organizational disputes and those arising from interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the collective negotiation agreement. (House of Representatives)

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