UPV CAS hosts Kapakanan forum on faculty and staff welfare

UPV CAS hosts Kapakanan forum on faculty and staff welfare

“It’s about time that we put the welfare of our faculty and staff on the agenda of the University.”

This was the call by UP Faculty Regent Carl Marc Ramota during the Kapakanan sa Pamantasan: A Forum on Faculty and Staff Welfare last 27 February 2024, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the CFOS AV Hall, Pidlaoan Building, UPV Miagao campus.

The Kapakanan forum, which discussed issues of welfare of faculty, research, extension, and professional services (REPS) personnel, and administrative staff in the University, also included Dr. Bernice Vania Mamauag of the Division of Social Sciences (DSS) and Prof. Early Sol Gadong of the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) as part of the panel.

Prof. Gadong, director-at-large of the AUPAEU National Executive Board and assistant professor of mathematics at the Division of Professional Education, presented the welfare issues and concerns of University employees such as the lack of security of tenure and inadequate salary, and the importance of the academic union in pushing for employee welfare.

“Kon magtulod kita sang kaayuhan, unahon ta gid ang ara sa pinakadalom. Kay kon magsaka sila, masaka man kita [when we push for welfare, we should start at those in the bottom, because when they rise, we rise with them],” Prof. Gadong pushed, as she discussed the huge pay gap between faculty and administrators, and administrative staff.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mamauag, an associate professor of psychology, laid the empirical and theoretical groundwork on employee welfare and discussed existing literature in the context of UP employees.

Dr. Mamauag presented various facets of employee welfare found in the literature, such as benefits, life and work policies, allowances, medical services, and housing; and posed questions about the inclusivity of UP’s employee welfare policies and the extent to which these policies are based on evidence.

Regent Ramota presented the dire need for the institutionalization of faculty welfare councils (FWCs) in the UP System and in the different constituent universities (CUs), as he presented the different welfare issues experienced by the faculty of the University.

“Establishing the Faculty Welfare Council is the first step towards this direction [of prioritizing welfare],” Regent Ramota emphasized, in connection with the proposal for the establishment of FWCs in the UP system and in the different CUs.

The proposal, which was drafted by a multi-CU subcommittee under the Office of the Faculty Regent, was inspired by the institutionalization of the REPS Welfare Council (RWC) in the UP System and in the CUs in 2018.

“UP must recognize its institutional responsibility to create a safe and nurturing environment for learning and work,” Regent Ramota highlighted, as he discussed the academic, economic, and health and wellbeing dimensions of welfare, which are also the focus of the FWC proposal.

Faculty, REPS personnel, and administrative staff were able to express welfare concerns, such as lack of plantilla items especially for the staff, lack of decent and affordable housing, classroom shortage and other infrastructure inadequacies.

The forum also highlighted the need to have a separate forum dedicated to discussing and addressing welfare concerns of REPS personnel and administrative staff.

Kapakanan sa Pamantasan was organized by The College of Arts and Sciences, as part of the CASanagan Forum Series during the CAS Week 2024, headed by Prof. Lylve Maliz Zeller of the DSS and Prof. Kent Christian Castor of the Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics (DPSM) as committee chair and co-chair, respectively.

This year’s CAS week, with the theme, “Panghimanwa sang CAS,” highlighted the College’s service to the University and to the larger community.

DSS Chairperson Dr. Johnrev Guilaran moderated the Kapakanan forum, which was attended by UP faculty, REPS, administrative staff, and students, including OIC Dean and DPSM Chairperson Dr. Arnel Tampos, who gave the opening remarks, and Department of Chemistry Chairperson Dr. Kurt Waldo Sy Piecco, who introduced the speakers.

The Kapakanan forum also launched the maiden issue of the UP Kalipunan, the official newsletter of the Office of the Faculty Regent, which features articles on issues and concerns of University faculty and includes contributions by faculty members from the different CUs across the UP system.

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