CSC wants bigger role in government workers’ unions bill

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THE Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Wednesday pushed to have control over the implementation of House Bill 2621 or the Public Service Relations Act, which will empower public sector workers to organize.

During the online hearing of the Committee on Civil Service and Profession Regulation on Wednesday, CSC Director Krunimar Antonio Escudero III proposed that CSC be given the crucial role due to its existing resources.

He said the proposed creation of the Public Sector Labor Relations Board, which is intended to implement the legislation, could slow down the enforcement of the HB 2621 once it is signed into law.

“Instead of creating a board that is composed of a mix of elected and appointed representatives, the implementation of the law and the concomitant jurisdiction must be lodged with  the Civil Service Commission,” Escudero said.

He noted this is apparent from the operation of the Public Sector Labor-Management Council (PSLMC), which is currently administering the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 180, which contain the guidelines for public sector workers to organize.

“One of the difficulties of the current setup of the PSLMC is how it could convene its members. If we put up the Public Sector Labor Relations Board, we might experience the same difficulties,” Escudero said.

Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) General Secretary Annie Geron  immediately rejected Escudero’s proposal stating CSC should have no control over the HB 2691 as the central personal agency of the government.

“Labor relations or industrial relations is outside the ambit of human relations management. To think otherwise connotes that the concept is interpreted by the Civil Service Commission to mean assuming control and restriction in the exercise in the rights guaranteed by the constitution to public sector employees,” Geron said.

She noted EO 180 created the PSLMC specifically to prevent CSC from intervening over public sector workers from organizing.

TUCP party-list Raymond Mendoza said they will consider the position of CSC, PSLINK and other stakeholders before they finalize the bill.

He said they hope it will be passed on third and final reading at the House of Representatives by September, especially since it is part of the country’s commitment to International Labor Organization (ILO) with the ratification of its Convention 151 or Public Service Convention way back in 2017.

The convention needs an enabling law before it can be enforced in the country.

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