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Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper – Introduction

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Background on the All UP Unions

The All UP Workers Union was established in July 1987 for all employees belonging to the administration, REPS and faculty sectors of the University of the Philippines. Its principles and objectives are the following:

  • To devote itself to the promotion and protection of the economic and democratic rights and the general welfare of all employees, especially the administrative sector, in the University by
    • Securing for its members the most just and reasonable terms of employment; and
    • Eliminate oppressive features of employment;
  • To provide the fullest opportunity for its members, through appropriate education programs, to enhance their social and political awareness, to the end that they become militant in the defence and advancement of their interests and rights in the University of the Philippines;
  • To promote closer relationships and mutual understanding among members in order to achieve greater unity;
  • To strive for the adoption of legislative policies and other government measures that will promote the well-being of its members and the working people in general by
    • Continuously informing its members about critical public issues, and
    • Undertaking a united stand on these questions, in the interest of their collective concerns in common with the rest of the working people;
  • To establish close relations with other labor organizations and centers in the University and in national and international arenas, particularly with those which share its principles and objectives.

The All UP Workers Union’s orientation and call to action are expressed in the tag line “Militante, Progresibo at Makabayan”“Militante” because the strength of the organization rests in the unified action of the union members in championing its petitions instead of relying on the connections and influence of a few leaders; “Progresibo” because the organization is committed to defending, supporting, and promoting the rights and interests of its members as well as the welfare of the Filipino people; “Makabayan”, because the organization recognizes that matters and issues relating to workers’ rights, employment, and just compensation are rooted in and cannot be separated from national issues and problems, which is why it is important for the Filipino people to join forces and participate in the continuing struggle for genuine freedom and democracy.

All UP Unions

All UP Unions

Questioning and challenging the validity of the organization’s membership parameters, the administration of the University of the Philippines lodged formal charges with the Supreme Court against the All UP Workers Union. On July 14, 1992 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the UP administration, citing that the differing natures of administrative and academic work dictates a separation of the two categories of employees for the purpose of collective bargaining, and that the formation of two separate collective bargaining units will better safeguard employees and assure them of the exercise of their collective bargaining rights.

Though the All UP Workers Union disagreed with the Supreme Court’s position on the differing natures of the interests of the administrative and academic sectors, it had made this ruling the basis for the establishing the All UP Academic Employees Union as a counterpart organization. Despite the now distinguished and separate memberships, these two partner organizations are in close coordination and cooperation in their fight for their respective constituencies’ common interests as well as the advancement of job-specific interests of their members. These are achieved through regular consultation, unified action, and mechanisms of mutual help.

The All UP Workers Union, headed by Mr. Clodualdo “Buboy” Cabrera, along with the All UP Academic Employees Union, headed by Dr. Judy M. Taguiwalo, lives its commitment to its principles, orientation, and call to action in its day-to-day activities. The officers and active members shuttle from their designated units to the Union office to do the following: attend to responsibilities pertaining to union initiatives; meet to discuss positions and organize actions and mobilizations that address community and national issues and problems; and make themselves available for consultation to both employees and community members.

The following continue to be the priority issues of the Union:

  1. The Centennial Bonus
  2. P1000 Christmas Grocery Allowance and 2 Sacks of Rice per year
  3. P3,000 Across-the-Board Salary Increase
  4. Back COLA
  5. Promotions for all
  6. Extended Sick Leave for all
  7. Protests against the Attrition Law, the Commercialization of UP, and UP Charter Change
  8. The RIPADA Demolition
  9. Protests against Oil Price Hike, Human Security Law, Cha-cha, political killings and enforced disappearances
  10. The GMA Resign! Campaign

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES AND PROCESSES

Objectives

A.           To conduct research that will

  • look into issues affecting women-members’ active participation in the Union, both positively and negatively, and
  • provide recommendations to increase their participation;

B.           To produce gender disaggregated data in membership (Workers and Academic), as well as determine gender disaggregation at    the committee level;

C.           To help organize Gender Committee/s for All UP Workers Union (at the minimum), and All UP Academic Union (maximum);

D.           To assist in the consolidation and strengthening of the All UP Women Solidarity; and

E.           To assess the achievements and gaps of the All UP Workers Union in terms of addressing gender issues.

Workplan and Accomplishments

 

Activity

 

 

Output

 

Status

OBJECTIVE #1:To conduct research that will look into issues affecting women-members’ active participation in the Union, both positively and negatively, and provide recommendations to increase their participation

1

Draft survey questionnaire

Draft survey form

Done

1.1 Submit initial draft to Agency Supervisor (AS) for comments

Done

1.2 Review of Draft by AS

Feedback from AUWU Officer Francing and UWS Officer Connie

Done

2

Finalize survey questionnaire

Final survey form

Done

3

Disseminate questionnaire to union members

Done

4

Draft questionnaire for key informant interview (KII)

Draft KII questionnaire

KII replaced by survey “interviews”

5

Draft questionnaire for focus group discussion

Draft FGD questionnaire

Done

6

Collect all accomplished questionnaires

Raw Data Consolidation

Done

Survey “interviews” also gathered

7

Process results of survey

Assessment Report

Done

8

Refine KII questionnaire based on survey results

Final KII Questionnaire

KII replaced by survey “interviews”

9

Refine FGD questionnaire based on survey results

Final FGD Questionnaire

Done

Held pre-FGD meeting with FS, AS, and core women

10

Validate survey results through conduct of KII

Transcription of KII

KII replaced by survey “interviews”

11

Validate survey results through conduct of FGD

Transcription of FGD

Audio and Notes

Summary of Main Points

12

Process results of KII and FGD

Assessment Report

Done

13

Prepare report and presentation

Consolidated Draft Report

Done

14

Present results of survey to AS for input

Powerpoint Presentation

Done

15

Finalize report to incorporate inputs of AS

Consolidated final report

Done; feedback gathered from AS

OBJECTIVE #2:To produce gender disaggregated data in membership (Workers and Academic), as well as determine gender disaggregation at the committee level

1

Obtain updated members’ list (Workers and Academic)

Hard and / or soft copies

Done

2

Process gender disaggregated membership data

Assessment report

Done

3

Process committee disaggregated data

Committee information not available for AUWU

Done (AUAEU)

Not Done (AUWU)

4

Prepare report and presentation

Consolidated draft report

Done

5

Present report to AS for inputs

Powerpoint Presentation

6

Finalize report to incorporate inputs of AS

Consolidated final report

OBJECTIVE #3:To help organize Gender Committee/s for All UP Workers Union (at the minimum), and All UP Academic Union (maximum).

1

Identify the terms of reference of the GC

Draft TOR

Done

2

Come up with the working guidelines of the GC

Draft guidelines

Done

3

Validate the TOR and guidelines with the AS

Feedback from AS

Done

4

Refine TOR and guidelines based on inputs of AS

Done

5

Present final TOR and guidelines to the AS

Powerpoint Presentation

Done

OBJECTIVE #4:To assist in the consolidation and strengthening of the All UP Women Solidarity.

1

Gather relevant primary and secondary data

Raw data consolidation

Done

2

Conduct needs assessment (to be incorporated in the survey)

Assessment report

Not done;

Decision in meeting to have survey concentrate on members

3

Conduct FGD with AS and officers of AUWS to validate results of needs assessment and identify potential activities for the group

Transcription of FGD

Not done;

Hectic schedules do not match; people are busy because of centennial celebration activities and mobilizations for current national issues

4

Prepare report and presentation

Draft report

Done

5

Present report to AS for inputs

Powerpoint presentation

6

Finalize report to incorporate inputs of AS

Final report

OBJECTIVE #5:To assess the achievements and gaps of the All UP Workers Union in terms of addressing gender issues.

1

Gather relevant secondary data on gender initiatives of the union

Summary of gender initiatives

2

Conduct KIIS with concerned people/officers

Transcription of KIIs

Not Done

3

Prepare assessment report and presentation

Draft report

4

Present report to AS for inputs

Powerpoint presentation

5

Finalize report to incorporate inputs of AS

Final Report

Table 1: FIP Workplan and Output

Accomplishments

  • Meetings and discussions with Faculty Supervisor Ma’am Natsy, Agency Supervisor Lisa, and All UP Women Solidarity core group members Ate Fransing and Ate Connie
  • Learning sessions/discussions with officers and active members of the Union, led by AUWU President Ka Buboy and Vice-President Ka Noli
  • Survey
    • Brainstorming sessions
    • Creation and review of survey questionnaire
    • Gathering of answered survey forms from different UP units
    • Interview method conducted with employees too busy to answer the survey
    • Raw data processing
    • Analysis of results
  • FGD
    • Brainstorming sessions
    • Creation of key questions
    • Selection and invitation of FGD participants
    • Actual FGD
    • Processing of results
  • Draft of Gender Committee Framework created based on survey and FGD results
  • Gender-disaggregation of membership data for Workers and Academic Employees Unions
  • Review and assessment of the achievements and gaps of the Union in gender
  • Primary and secondary data gathering for organizational analysis of the All UPWS
  • Creation of guidelines and recommendations for consolidating All UP Women Solidarity, pending review of the Agency and Faculty Supervisors
  • Draft of Final Report containing important findings of survey and FGD, and recommendations for strengthening the Gender Committee
  • Integrated Field Paper: Final Report containing all deliverables with feedback from Agency and Faculty Supervisors already incorporated

Union Activities: Participation and Observation

  • Meetings and discussions with officers of All UP Women Solidarity (Ate Connie and Ate Fransing)
  • National Executive Board (NEB) Meeting, followed by a discussion/learning session with Ka Buboy and Ka Noli
  • Diliman Council (DC) Meeting, followed by a discussion/learning session with Ka Buboy
  • Rice distribution to union members, followed by a discussion/learning session with Ka Buboy
  • Video viewing of Sahod, Trabaho at Karapatan Ipaglaban followed by a discussion/learning session with Ka Buboy and Ka Noli
  • Talakayang Bayan with rep. Lisa Masa, on RIPADA Demolition/C5 Road Project (January 19, 2008)
  • Meeting with members of All UP Women Solidarity (January 19, 2008)
  • Forum on Oil Price Hike
  • All UP Women Solidarity Orientation for new members and Planning Session for March 6 Build-up
  • Field Agency Introduction and Field Experience Sharing during the Linggo ng CSWCD: Araw ng Field Instruction Program – Pag-alaala, Pagkilala,Pasasalamat (February  21)
  • Truth and Accountability Rally in Makati (February 15)
  • Interfaith rally in Makati (February 29)
  • Gawad Lourdes Crisostomo 2008: Pagkilala ssa mga Natatanging Kababaihan ng UP Diliman (March 6)
  • International Women’s Day march (March 8)
  • Liwasang Bonifacio Youth Rally (March 14)

Deviations from the Work Plan

  • Number of Respondents to the Survey

The set number of target respondents had been 150 at the minimum, but only 89 accomplished survey forms came back due to employees’ work loads and busy schedules brought on by the UP centennial activities and preparations.

  • Key Informant Interviews

The key informant interviews were not conducted as per the timetable due to schedule problems and time constraints encountered. However, the decision to forego these was reached based on the amount and quality of data gathered from the survey and the gender FGD. The fieldwork students in the following semester may carry out these interviews in order to build upon the research already conducted during this semester.

  • FGD with the AUWS

The focus group discussion with officers and members of the AUWS was not conducted as per timetable due to difficulty in finding a common time given the family schedules of their members and the conflicts in schedules of the field students.

Factors That Affected Planned Activities

ACHEIVEMENT 

  • Clear formulation of objectives, translation into specific tasks, delineation into distinct outcomes, and realistic timetable

The initial meeting with the union officers, agency supervisor and faculty supervisor had been vital in identifying the needs and gaps of the organization, strategically planning the methods of meeting these needs and filling these gaps, outlining expected outputs, and mapping out target dates. Before fieldwork had begun, everybody already knew the “whats, hows, and whens”.

  • Teamwork and task delegation

Each fieldwork student had been delegated specific objectives while also being assigned tasks regardless of whose objective it was. This system wherein there is a point person per objective and task ensured that everything would be achieved. Both field students helped each other in the accomplishment of the work, whether these were officially assigned to them or not.

  • Support from Agency Supervisor (Lisa), Faculty Supervisor (Ma’am Natsy), Union staffer (Ate Cecille), and UAUS officers (Ate Fransing and Ate Connie)

The Agency and Faculty Supervisors were in constant coordination with the field students and vice versa, while the core group members of the All UP Women Solidarity always made themselves available for consultation on all matters involving all tasks for the expected outputs. The Union staffer Cecille assisted the field students in their needs and made possible the smooth progress they made in achieving their goals.

  • Officers of the Union are always willing to discuss issues, explain their position on these, and share their insights (particularly Ka Buboy, Ka Noli, Ate Fransing, and Ate Connie)

The officers of the Union, along with their wives, their staffer Cecille, and the active members, also always made themselves available for consultation and discussion and had been key in the students’ understanding of and immersion in the organization. They facilitated the successful integration of the field students into the day-to-day as well as organized activities of the Unions.

NON-ACHIEVEMENT 

  • Hectic work and personal schedules

Jeng is a junior project manager at the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, whose office is based in UP Diliman. Aside from heading and managing concurrent research projects, she also does freelance research and consultancy work for various organizations and corporations while enrolled in the MA WD program. Shortly before fieldwork had started, Jeng had received a promotion, which came with a more stringent schedule.

Cindy is a college teacher of English studies at the Entrepreneurs School of Asia in Libis. Shortly before fieldwork had begun she also started teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University Department of English and the Ateneo English Language Center while also enrolled in the MA WD program and currently working on her thesis.

  • Conflicts in schedule; multiple burden

Jeng and Cindy’s work hours along with both their family obligations made for a challenging juggling of schedules to create common time for fieldwork. Nevertheless both attended to the tasks individually and together whenever possible. The clear delineation of tasks facilitated successful accomplishment despite chaotic schedules.

In the same manner, officers and active members of the unions as well as core group members of the AUWS juggled activities ranging from community issues (RIPADA demolition) to work issues (negotiations for benefits such as the accumulated sick leave for employees) to national issues (Gloria and the ZTE-NBN deal) with their own family schedules. All these contributed to the difficulty in finding a common time to participate in some of the tasks the field students needed to accomplish.

  • Centennial preparations and celebrations

The UP centennial activities and preparations significantly affected the schedules of UP employees as their workload for the semester now included additional tasks related to the celebrations, particularly from January to February, where offices/units at times would be abuzz with groundwork or would be on a skeleton force while the majority of their constituents would be at the activity sites. This took time away from little requests the field students made such as filling out of survey forms and freeing up schedules to participate in focus group discussions.

BOTH ACHIEVEMENT AND NON-ACHIEVEMENT

  • Participation of the Unions in MOBs and rallies

While their active participation in mobilizations and rallies definitely added to the strains in schedules for the accomplishment of certain goals and tasks as per timetable, the All UP Unions’ involvement in outcries on national issues contributed most significantly to the field students’ off-site education and experience. It gave the field students the opportunity to participate in and experience firsthand the advocacy and action that the All UP Unions are all about. Though the field students also actively take part in such demonstrations as students and individuals, the perspective and insights afforded by their participation with the All UP Unions deepened and sharpened the field students’ understanding and appreciation of the unions’ fundamental nature, their involvement in national issues, and their commitment to walking both the talk and the text (as stated in their handbook and constitution) of being “militante, progresibo, makabayan”.

Lessons and Insights

Midterm Lessons and Insights 

  • The All UP Unions have demonstrated consistently that they look out for not only the employees’ interests but also for the interests of all – faculty and REPS, students, employees’ families, community members, and, through their continuing participation in struggles relating to national issues, for the Filipino people.
  • Their conviction that the conditions and issues within the UP System and communities are linked with national issues, and their participation in the fight for the rights and privileges of Filipinos within their constituency and at large clearly proves that they put a premium on education through awareness and consciousness-raising and on committing their advocacies into action.
  • The ideals put forth by the All UP Unions translate concretely into their practice such as the officers’ conduct of their duties and responsibilities, their planned action borne of positions on issues and their efforts to motivate their constituents to take part in activities and mobilizations.
  • The commitment and genuine concern of officers and active members for issues within UP and on a community and national level is evident in their solution- and action-oriented responses to these.
  • The Union office is truly a venue for discussion and consultation, where any person in need of help is welcome. The officers and active members make themselves available to people in need of help or consultation, promptly responding and arriving at the union office.
  • The Union office has successfully created and nurtured an environment that values women’s participation and perspectives.
  • Despite the Union office being a center for issues and problems, the atmosphere fostered is light, with the seriousness in tackling these tempered with humor and warm regard for each other.

 

 Term-End Lessons and Insights: Impact of FI on the Self 

  • Theoretical knowledge the field students have learned about organizing, history and perspectives, feminist research, feminist theories, women and work, gender planning, and feminist psychology have been corroborated and applied through learning opportunities provided by the Unions. The field students acquired a direct personal awareness through a genuine theory-into-practice experience at the agency.
  • The field students became sharper and more discerning as observers through participation in day-to-day and planned activities. The field students appreciated the wealth of knowledge and experience afforded by immersion and context.
  • Field work made theoretical knowledge instinctive in analyses and action (ownership of the concepts).

 

 Term-End Lessons and Insights: Working with the Field Agency 

  • The officers and active members are models for commitment into action. Their commitment-into-action fostered an atmosphere of genuine concern, quest for knowledge, generation of solutions, and plans of action.
  • Their warm regard, enthusiasm and support for the field students had been crucial in the education and integration into the All UP Unions.
    • Knowledge of the organizations
    • Issues and positions
    • Observation and participation in spontaneous discussions, formal and informal meetings, planning sessions and activities
    • Day-to-day activities

Term-End Lessons and Insights: Working with the Women 

  • The women active in the All UP Unions and WS struck the field students as enlightened women with a strong sense of character, purpose, action and achievement, who discuss and debate with the men frankly and freely.
  • As per observation, the men active in the union treat the women as equals. There had been no indication of any gender-based belittlement or innuendos, so that it had always been a pleasure to stay at their office.
  • The active women-members and officers acknowledged the support and understanding their husbands accord them as a result of their enlightenment and gender-sensitivity. They know that many women are not active in the union precisely because they do not enjoy the same treatment and understanding from their husbands. They would like to ‘share” with the women-members the freedom of self-determination through education and awareness/consciousness-raising.

Term-End Lessons and Insights: Working as a Team

  • The field students drew strength and synergy from their friendship. Clearly drawing the line between what is friendship and what is a professional partnership in fieldwork made very clear the capacities in which they performed and the tasks that had to be accomplished. Through their friendship they understood each other’s situations but they did not impose on each other.
  • Planning, coordination, understanding, cooperation and helping each other achieve tasks had been crucial in their working relationship. They acknowledged and accounted for each other’s strengths and limitations. They were very clear on the division of tasks/labor for assignments and accountability and counted on teamwork for solidarity.
  • Translation of general objectives and specific objectives into concrete actions and outputs also minimized misinterpretations and avoided assumptions.

 

 Recommendations for follow-on WD FI placement 

  • Similar study for the All UP Academic Employees Union à Organize and consolidate Gender Committee
  • Conduct a gender analysis for a more in-depth look into gender issues within the Union
  • Institutionalize gender mainstreaming
“Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper” written Jelina Tetangco and Cindy Cruz-Cabrera | March 2008

Next: Investigation of the UP Union Women-Members’ Participation

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Author: cindycatz: occasional pianist and coffee shop philosopher

fond of the sun, sky, sea, sand and starfish; passionate about literacy, education, media, feminisms, development, popular culture, counterculture, migration phenomenon, anthropology and the fourth world; fascinated with crochet, sushi-making, fiction, creative non-fiction, storytelling, some films and series | books and comics | anime and manga | music and videos | bands and groupies, Latin and Italian, mom-and-pop consumerism, tavern bards and cafe philosophers, trinkets and bric-a-bracs, and steampunk and lolita couture; and absolutely enamored with nail polish and bag charms, frappucinos and margaritas, conversations and moments, her 41 year-old piano, and - of course - CATS. credentials? visit about.me/cindycruzcabrera & ph.linkedin.com/in/cindycruzcabrera/

3 thoughts on “Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper – Introduction

  1. Pingback: Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper – Glossary of Gender Terms | Papers, Pursuits and Purrsuasions

  2. Pingback: Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper – Table of Contents | Papers, Pursuits and Purrsuasions

  3. Pingback: Women and the All UP Unions: Mainstreaming the Women’s Agenda – An Integrated Field Work Paper – Abstract and Blog List | Papers, Pursuits and Purrsuasions

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