The Visayan Electric Company Employees’ Union (VECEU) and the electric utility’s management negotiating panel signed a 5-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on Thursday, May 4.
Engr. Mark Anthony Kindica, head of the management panel, said negotiations for the 2022 – 2006 CBA were by far the most peaceful and harmonious Visayan Electric has experienced.
“This was a milestone for Visayan Electric but we still have so much to do in terms of strengthening the relationship with VECEU. This is just the beginning and we are off to a good start,” he said.
For his part, VECEU president Arnel Zapanta expressed his gratitude to the utility’s management team for considering the union’s concerns.
“For the first time in 15 years, ingon ani kadali ang CBA negotiations. This is also the first time that we signed two CBAs in less than a month. We hope that this harmonious relationship will continue. Management and labor should be a tandem. Dapat magtinabangay. We need to understand each other,” Zapanta said.
The VECEU was supposed to sign a CBA with the Visayan Electric management in 2017 after a previous CBA already expired. However, negotiations for the 2017 CBA failed when the union and management did not reach an agreement on a number of issues, including the amount of the yearly across the board salary increase that should be implemented for rank and file employees.
It was only in April of this year that the union and the management signed the 2017 CBA. Negotiations for the current CBA followed thereafter.
Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Engr. Raul C. Lucero, in his message during the signing, thanked the union and the management panel for finally resolving the CBA concerns.
“We are looking forward to years of industrial peace with the signing of the CBA. Hopefully, this is the start of a true and trusting relationship between the management and the employees’ union,” Lucero said.
All Visayan Electric rank and file employees will be receiving a signing bonus equivalent to their one month salary, while confidential employees and supervisors will receive a loyalty bonus equivalent to their one month salary.
Lucero said the signing and loyalty bonuses are the management’s way of thanking the employees for their contribution to the company.
Visayan Electric, the second-largest electric utility in the country, is owned and managed by publicly-listed Aboitiz Power Corporation and Vivant Corporation. It serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga, and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu — Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.