LandBank union sees worker exodus with pay-scale setup

THE labor union of the Land Bank of the Philippines Inc. (LandBank) warned of the possible employee exodus in the government financial institution (GIF) if the lender pushes through with its “unfair” Compensation and Position Classification System (CPCS) next week.

The Land Bank of the Philippines Employees Association (LBPEA) expressed concern over the looming implementation of the CPCS, which the union said may further demoralize workers of the state-run bank.

LBPEA President Nanette J. Lati said since 2019 they observed an increase in the number of Landbank workers who resigned after management suspended giving out some of their benefits that year. These benefits include free rice, health maintenance organization (HMO), children’s allowance and longevity pay.

Lati said that was also the year when management implemented an interim pay scale based on the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), pending the completion of the CPCS.

Lati told the BusinessMirror there was no “mass resignation.”

“But due to demoralization, some people from the ranks are really taking the chance to go out and find greener pastures,” she added.

This may change after the Landbank management unveiled last month its CPCS table. The table was approved by the Governance Commission for Government Owned or Controlled Corporations but was rejected by the LBPEA.

LBPEA North Luzon Director Annabelle Valdez noted this could worsen the exodus of Landbank workers especially those in the 31-to-49 age bracket.

“This [age group] is where the exodus of workers are. So where will management get those it will groom to occupy the higher positions, who will be running the bank?” Valdez said in a news conference last Friday.

“Instead of boosting our workforce and developing its talented and skillful personnel, we become the instrument for them to leave,” she added.

CPCS table

UNDER Landbank’s CPCS table, rank-and-file employees will be getting a percentage pay increase of 0.67 percent to 55 percent.

A total of 1,035 workers will get a 0.67-percent increase, which is equivalent to P560.

Middle management officers’ pay increase ranges from 0.53 percent to 98 percent.

The lowest increase, which is 0.53 percent, will apply to 461 middle management officers.

Meanwhile, the CPCS raised the pay of the Landbank’s top management from 133 percent to as high as 236 percent. The 17 people who will be entitled to the 133 percent increase, will get an additional P172,894 each.

To note, most or 10,864 of its workforce are rank-and-file, while 1,482 are middle management offices.

Only 95 people comprise the top management positions.

Equitable increase

THE LBPEA called on Landbank’s management to postpone the effectivity of its CPCS on June 15, 2022, so that the rate of pay increase could be reviewed.

Mario Antonio, LBPEA Mindanao director, said the GCG rules allow GOCCs (government-owned and –controlled corporations) and government financial institutions to raise the pay of its workers by as much as 26 percent.

He said they hope the Landbank governing board will consider granting the said maximum rate of increase to its workers.

“We will not interfere with the 98 percent to 236 percent pay increase [for middle and top management]. For us we just want an equitable increase of 26 percent to all rank and file,” Antonio said.

Why management hesitates

LATI explained that the Landbank management is hesitant in granting the standard pay rate increase because rank-and-file workers were already given a high base under the interim pay scale of 2019.

However, the union official noted that the rank-and-file employees deserve the increase since some of their non-wage benefits were removed. They have also had to deal with tough working conditions during the last two years of the Covid-19 infection.

“Many were unable to avail their HMO  since it was suspended by the management,” Lati said.

LBPEA officials are also demanding for the abolition of the GCG for approving the LandBank “unacceptable, unjustified, and unfair” CPCS, which they noted will widen the “glaring disparity” in the pay of management and rank-and-file and cause massive wage distortion.

They noted that the GCG failed to do its mandate “to guard excessive abuses with regards to the increases of top management positions and ensure there will be just and equal pay increase from those in the rank-and-file.

Labor appeal

LATI said they are now banking on the administration of president-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to resolve their issue with the CPCS.

This after their attempts to raise the matter to the Office of the Executive Secretary “did not prosper.”

“Right now we are finalizing our official letter, which will be sent to the president-elect,” Lati said.

They are seeking an audience with incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office head Beatrix Cruz-Angeles to also discuss the matter.

As for their appeal to the Landbank to postpone the effectivity of its CBCS, she said the bank’s management has yet to respond to the said request.

Valdez said they hope Marcos will address the issue since she noted it will be crucial in the continuous operation of the largest government bank in the country.

“The future of the bank depends on it,” Valdez said.