DepEd union withdrawn call for Luistro's resignation

September 12, 2010 11:35 pm 

MANILA, Sept. 12 — The 40,000-strong Department of Education-National Employees Union (DepEd-NEU) has withdrawn its call for the resignation of Education Secretary Armin Luistro after the latter met with them Tuesday afternoon.

Lawyer Domingo Alidon said they decided to withdraw their call following Luistro's affirmation of support of the union’s five parameters which includes no politicking of promotions at DepEd, professional handling in DepEd management, support for public sector unionism, transparency in DepEd transactions and the continuation of good programs installed by previous secretaries.

“Winidraw na namin ang aming naunang panawagan na siya (Luistro) ay magresign and we declare our support to him [we hereby withdraw our previous call for Luistro to resign and declare our support to his appointment as DepEd secretary],” Alidon said.

The meeting held at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City was attended by top union officials from all over the country.

But Alidon clarified that Luistro was still under “probation” adding that if he renege on his promises, then they might renew their ouster call.

“Ibang usapan na yan pag di tinupad ang napagkasunduan pero sa ngayon sinusuportahan namin siya while the said parameters are being complied [it would be an entirely different matter if Luistro reneged on what we have agreed upon but for now he has our full support],” he added.

Alidon said the DepEd chief also affirmed his support for public sector unionism, representation on issues concerning the promotion of rank and file employees, professional management, grassroots consultations and avoidance of politicking in the promotion of the department’s employees.

The DepEd-Central Employees Union headed by Fidel Salosagcol has already affirmed their support for Luistro last week.

For his part, Luistro confirmed the union’s support adding that he respect their opinion and their rights to air their grievances.

“Ang sinabi nila [what they have said was that] they are in full support and I believe them. Naiintindihan ko naman [I fully understand], I always put these things in perspective. My relationship with them is one that is truthful and honest. I can work with people even if we don’t have the same perspectives every time. At the end of the day, my last question for every decision I will take is, will this be good for the Filipino youth? I hope and I believe that we are all here for the interest for the Filipino youth,” Luistro said in an interview right before he left for Sweden to attend a conference.

The DepEd chief said he also supported the issues and concerns raised by the union including the benefits for them and consultation with the employees.

“They expressed support for the DepEd programs. Their opening line was really to me a very good indication of the needs for the department to take care of them. What I heard very clearly is that they also wanted to be seen to be considered. Sometimes the benefits of teachers minsan naiiwan sila [they are being left out],” he added.

As to the union’s earlier accusation that he was “incompetent” to lead the department, Luistro said he knew when he assumed the post that he was not all-knowing but added he is prepared to serve the public and improve the quality of basic education in the country.

“That's not an issue to me. Kasi nung pumasok ako dito alam kong may mas magaling sa akin at wala naman akong interes na manatili dito kung hndi ako makakapagsilbi [I many not have the monopoly of knowledge and expertise and I my pressing mission and concern is to serve]. All of us have a perspective and an opinion. Any public servant must take that as part of their territory, that is a perspective I uphold,” he further said.

In their call for his resignation, the DepEd-NEU cited his alleged “mismanagement and incompetence” in the position.

The group also cited the presence of more than 440 consultants, including the hiring of retired DepEd officials, the presence of “volunteers” who they said are doing “line-of-function work in violation of existing rules as well as the lack of consultation with the employees. (PNA)

V3/HCT

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