Union Terms at DepEd; (Editor's Note: If Labor Unions in Government Are Legalized, They Can Play a Noble Role in Preventing Graft as Noted by the Author.)

Article excerpt

IT'S like a collective bargaining agreement signed between a pre-martial law government corporation labor union and the management.

For days, the union at the Department of Education headed by its president Domingo Alidon threatened to give a stormy welcome for the new incoming secretary, Jesli Lapus.

Peace pipe and terms

Last Friday, Lapus and Alidon smoked the proverbial peace pipe after the five terms of "endearment" were accepted by Lapus. Among the terms now in "full force and effect" at DepEd are (1) transparency on program implementation (2) continuation of programs of secretaries before Lapus (3) concede the needs and rights of employees (4) that Lapus will not run in the 2007 elections, and (5) spare DepEd from "evil" politics.

Guarantee of compliance

The only guarantee that the contract will continue to be valid is the acceptance of terms by Lapus and the union's threat to hold daily rallies.

We admire the union leadership at DepEd and the employees' boldness to hold a department secretary to a binding contract.

The more commendable term is: The union will withdraw its support if Lapus "shows insincerity."

Averting a huge loss

If the likes of Alidon's union and the general membership were in place at the Department of Agriculture in 2003 there would be no need for the Senate to investigate the R728 M fertilizer fund.

And the Rotarians would not find themselves holding tightly to their fourway test. And the Filipino man now detained by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service would feel free to whistle a good song -- "Whispering Hope."

Collective bargaining

I once wrote a paper on collective bargaining in government corporations and how unions prevented corruption from rearing its ugly head.

Between Dec. …