Through earnest and exhaustive conciliation and mediation efforts of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), an electric cooperative and its union has finalized its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after both parties reached deals in hazard pay and signing bonus.

Parties agreed that the economic provisions of the CBA shall apply only in the first year of the agreement or from 01 March 2022 to 28 February 2023. The political provisions of the CBA, however, shall apply throughout the five-year period of the CBA or from 01 March 2022 to 28 February 2027.

Under the economic provisions, covered employees shall receive a signing bonus amounting to P3,500.00 and a lump sum of P1,241.27 for the first year of the CBA. The said bonuses shall be released to the covered employees on 09 September 2022.

The economic package of the first year of the CBA is estimated at P687.500.00 benefiting 145 employees.

Parties also agreed to grant leave benefits to covered employees under the following situations: three working days calamity leave for victims of flood, storm, earthquake, fire and other calamities, seven working days bereavement leave in case of death of an employee’s immediate family member, and 15 working days quarantine leave for employees who have contracted COVID-19 in compliance with the advisories of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In addition to the bonuses and leave benefits, the electric cooperative agreed to shoulder the actual costs of hospitalization, medication, and recuperation for work-related accidents or injury suffered by its employees in excess of Philhealth, SSS insurance, and HMO coverage.

Management also agreed to involve the union in the discussion of any directive, circular, or seminar from various government agencies on energy transition, renewable energy, climate change, and other issues.

Parties agreed that future unresolved grievances shall be submitted and elevated to voluntary arbitration.

The renegotiation for the second and third year of the CBA shall commence in January 2023.

“The NCMB has successfully averted a strike from disrupting the operations of the electric cooperative through a series of conciliation conferences with management and union,” NCMB Executive Director Maria Teresita D. Lacsamana-Cancio said citing reports from handling Conciliator-Mediator Othello B. Tongio, Jr.

The NCMB, through its handling Con-Med Tongio, helped parties bargain and finalize provisions of the CBA peacefully.

The union filed the Notice of Strike on 27 June 2022 after management and union reached an impasse in negotiating the economic benefits in the CBA and its effectivity date at the plant-level.

END/ Gillian Pearl L. Guerrero