Sunday, February 26, 2012

Holy Cross of Davao vs. Faculty Union

Facts: Jean Legaspi, an English teacher and permanent employee of petitioner school, submitted an application for the 1999 Manbusho scholarship grant, which was granted. Consequently, she requested petitioner to allow her to be on study leave with grant-in aid equivalent to her 18 months salary and allowance, pursuant to Section 1 Article XIII of the CBA providing for a faculty development scholarship for academic personnel. Petitioner denied her request, claiming that she is not entitled to grant-in aid, but granted her 12 months study leave without pay. 

Legaspi then asked respondent Union KAMAPI to submit to the Grievance Committee petitioner’s refusal to grant her claim for grant-in aid, but the same was not settled. The union then filed a complaint for payment of grant-in aid against petitioner with the NCMB RO. 

VA ordered petitioner to pay Legaspi’s grant-in aid benefits. CA affirmed VA’s Decision. 

Issue: Whether or not Jean Legaspi is entitled to grant-in-aid benefits in the light of the CBA between the parties. 

Held: YES. Any doubt or ambiguity in the contract (CBA) between management and the union members should be resolved in favor of labor. This is pursuant to A1702 CC: “…in case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer.” 

The CBA provides that the “Management shall grant to all academic personnel a grant-in aid program, where the academic teaching personnel, whenever scholarship opportunities arise, be afforded a leave of absence to further their studies in Institutions of Higher Learning with a grant-in-aid equivalent to their salary and allowance.” The provision needs no interpretation for they are clear. Contracts which are not ambiguous are to be interpreted according to their literal meaning and not beyond their obvious intendment.

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