In celebration of its Academic Union Month last October, the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) conducted a series of activities promoting the rights and welfare of employees and faculty of the University of the Philippines campuses across the nation.
During the first week of October, the AUPAEU Baguio and Open University Chapters held their respective sessions for assessment and strategic planning. The All UP Workers Alliance-Manila (All UP Workers Union-Manila and AUPAEU-Manila), in partnership with Samahang Operasyong Sagip (SOS) and Medico International, conducted a public forum on “Preparing the Health Sector and Communities for the BIG ONE” on October 4 at the UP-PGH Science Hall, with Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) as resource person.
Leaders of the union attended the first National Leadership Training Seminar sponsored by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-State Universities and Colleges (ACT-SUC) at the PUP main campus in Manila. Participants of the seminar also joined the World Teachers Day mobilization on October 5.
Week 2 was highlighted by the setting up of AUPAEU information materials at the UP Diliman Academic Oval and other key locations of UP campuses across the nation. The AUPAEU Iloilo Chapter held its general assembly and election of officers, while the AUPAEU-Diliman Chapter organized a Zumba session on October 11. Other activities during the week were: radio guesting at DZUP, film showing, office-to- office information campaign, and photo exhibits.
The Academic Union Month’s week 3 featured the “Konsiyerto sa Kagutom” of the AUPAEU-Cebu Chapter and a psycho-social activity with “bakwit Lumad” students that was sponsored by the AUPAEU-Diliman Chapter on October 18. The AUPAEU-Tacloban Chapter held its strategic planning activity; the AUPAEU-Diliman Chapter, together with the UP National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (NISMED) and Save Our Schools Network, conducted a Lakbay Aral for “bakwit Lumad” students; and, the AUPAEU officers attended the Union-Management Monitoring Committee (UMMC) meeting held on October 20. The UMMC is the oversight body for the implementation of the Collective Negotiation Agreement between the AUPAEU and the UP.
On October 23, the AUPAEU-Diliman Chapter held a forum on “Disaster Preparedness in the Workplace” at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI). The forum covered topics on disaster preparedness, personal readiness, and related initiatives and programs. Resource persons included officers of the AUPAEU, the UP Resilience Institute, and Prepper Plus.
The AUPAEU Open University and Los Banos Chapters sponsored the first livestreamed discussion on unionism in UP, “Unyonismo 101: Tungo sa Militante, Progresibo at Makabayang Unyonismo sa Pampublikong Sektor”. Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, AUPAEU first national president, and Dr. Melania Flores, AUPAEU founding secretary general and currently, director-at-large served as forum speakers. They discussed the history of unionism in the country and in UP, the impact of neoliberalism on Filipinos, and the need for militant, progressive and patriotic unionism. Issues and updates concerning UP employees’ benefits and welfare were also discussed with UPLB and UPOU officials and union leaders. (The video of the forum can be viewed on Youtube [https://youtu.be/spj6s0mAgmM]).
A forum on UP’s Enhanced Hospitalization Program (eHOPE) was held at the lobby of the UP Diliman Main Library on October 24. Resource speakers were Dr. Hector Edrosa (UP Diliman) and Dr. Gene Nisperos (UP Manila). Members of the AUPAEU and eHOPE committee also responded to the concerns raised by forum participants.
To cap the month-long celebrations, a solidarity lunch was held simultaneously by Chapters of the AUPAEU, from the north’s UP Baguio to the south’s UP Mindanao, on October 27. At the Quezon Hall in UP Diliman, the closing program was held, together with members of the Alliance of Contractual Employees in UP (ACE-UP), All UP Workers Alliance, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and Lumad teachers of the Association of Community Educators.
The AUPAEU is the sole, recognized representative of research, extension and professional staff (REPS) and faculty in UP. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)