Del Pilar Academy vs Del Pilar Academy Employees Union
553 SCRA 590 – Labor Law – Labor Relations – Agency Fee to be Deducted from Non-Union Members who Benefited
In September 1994, the Del Pilar Academy and the Del Pilar Academy Employees Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement where it was agreed that:
a. the employees, teaching and non-teaching staff, shall have a salary increase;
b. the teaching staff shall have a maximum load of 23 hours per week in teaching;
c. any overload shall be paid extra;
d. there shall be an increase in the longevity pay;
e. teaching staff who have rendered service for 6 consecutive semester are entitled to receive pay during summer breaks;
f. non-union members who have rendered at least 1 year of service shall be entitled to 15 days leave with pay.
Since the new CBA benefits non-union members, the union asked Del Pilar to deduct agency fees from the salaries of non-union members. Del Pilar refused to do so hence a labor case was filed by the union.
In its defense, Del Pilar avers that it cannot collect agency fees because the non-union members refused to provide Del Pilar a check off authorization to make deductions from their salaries; and that further, the non-union members are not benefited because regardless of the CBA, employees are going to be given a salary increase pursuant to a program by the DECS which mandates all private schools to provide for salary increase based on tuition profits.
ISSUE: Whether or not Del Pilar must collect the said agency fees.
HELD: Yes. This is pursuant to Article 248 of the Labor Code which provides:
Employees of an appropriate collective bargaining unit who are not members of the recognized collective bargaining agency may be assessed a reasonable fee equivalent to the dues and other fees paid by members of the recognized collective bargaining agreement… xxx
This is also an exception to the rule that any deductions comprising of special assessments or extraordinary fees (Art. 241, Labor Code) made by the employer from an employees salary must be authorized by the employee.
It may be true that the salary increase provision may not have benefited the non-union members at all because of the existing DECS regulation but it is also undeniable that the CBA also provides for other provisions which benefits non-union members such as the grant of 15 paid leaves, the limitation of workloads, and premiums for overloads. All these surely benefited even non-union employees.
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