PUBLIC SECTOR LABOR SITUATIONER <br />Labor…known as the activity produced by the workers, distinguished to provide the continuous demand of the economy, considering the availability of profits (salary, wages) given to them as reward in their rendered service…<br />Today, having a million Filipino workers in the country, still only a part of them are having a stable employment. Many are unfortunately at risk of being unemployed and many of them do agree that their conditions as workers are not given enough justice and importance.<br />‘‘Many are in need but only a few are given a chance’ ‘<br />The government as considered as the largest employer in this rapidly changing labor market indeed plays a vital role in this delicately growing economy. The function of the government is to assign career-driven professionals in public service who see the bureaucracy as an arena of giving one’s best in serving the public.<br />But as we notice right now, the public has a negative perception for government employees. They are stereotyped to be lazy, inefficient and fattened by the public’s money. However the role of unionism still matters in the avoidance of this criticism. Unionism will tend to address these developments in a strategic manner to make it relevant and an imperative for the working peoples.<br /><ul><li>GROWTH WITHOUT EMPLOYMENT</li></ul>In spite the successes bannered in promoting exports and having investors in the country a growth in unemployment and under-employment is still present in the economy. The continuous unemployment exposes the logic capitalist growth without considering the issue on equity. We could say that the growth factor is a fleeting success, but without the consideration of equity an expanding economy will only brings forth greater benefits to the already wealthy than to the poor especially the workers.<br />MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ECONOMIC CONDITION’S OF PULIC SECTOR WORKERS<br /><ul><li>Low Wage Policy</li></ul>To keep one’s working nowadays, a worker has to bid for the lowest wage and the least secure terms of employment. Government workers are at the mercy of a fixed compensation which is not subject to any collective bargaining negotiations. Until now top Government Officials still benefit the most while the rank and file workers received much less. Persistently low wages are casual issues leading to workers discontentment.<br /><ul><li>Lay-offs and Reorganization</li></ul>Laying-off government workers means lesser delivery of public goods and services. Laying-off thousands of government workers and streamlining the bureaucracy should immediately be stopped as it violates the rights of government workers to due process and tenure security. The reorganization and the abolishing of the positions are also considered a major issue in public service. Clearly it affects the workers morale and esprit de corps when it comes in rendering service.<br /><ul><li>Lack of Recognition and Incentive</li></ul>Because of the least concern of the government in strengthening the bureaucracy through effective civil service, lack of recognition for tenurial security and no emphasis and attention in career development and advancement are not given to the workers. Rank and file government workers need role models and activist officials to spur them to action and to change the negative perception the public has on them. A participatory, interactive and facilitative management system will most likely energize the bureaucracy.<br /><ul><li>Low Budgetary Priority</li></ul>Increasing wages of the workers is not a priority of the government out to cut public spending. As in the past, talks about budget reduction always end up with the personnel expenditures at the losing end. To accommodate unrest among certain sectors with the bureaucracy, government sometimes appeases them through piecemeal increases. It was in 1994 when former President Ramos issued the Administrative Order No. 103 which provides an amount of 2,000 ph productivity incentive benefit for Government workers for calendar year 1993. Government workers, though thankful for any relief, are far from jumping with joy over such token amounts.<br /><ul><li>Graft and Corruption</li></ul>Today, the public is still aware that corruption has become second-nature to the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is likened to a gold mine and a source of power and privileged. Some think that once inside, abusing such powers vested by the public is a privileged. Public sector unions have also done their share in exposing graft and corrupt practices of top officials, this goes to show that unions can also become effective graft busters.<br /><ul><li>STRIVING FOR BETTER POLITICAL RIGHTS</li></ul>Government workers then and now are considered new entrants to the labor movement. Our existing labor relations laws either excluded them, or, if they were allowed to bargain collectively over certain terms of employment, are prohibited from using the strike weapon.<br />…significant inroads as to the full recognition of worker’s rights in government service…<br /><ul><li>Non-recognition of trade union rights
Executive Order 108, s. 1987 states that employees are only afforded the right to
freedom of association subject to certain conditions under the civil service.
Government unions cannot negotiate or bargain terms and conditions of employment, unlike their private sectors counterpart. The prohibition against the right to strike is strictly enforced by the state against public sector unions.
Indifference toward unionism</li></ul>The seeming indifference among many to unionism stems largely from the restrictive policy environment created by government in regards to recognizing worker’s right. Government has not promoted a positive role that unions play in an environment in which large income disparities exist and workers are disempowered. A freer, open, democratic space afforded to workers in government means a lot in conscienticizing work.<br /><ul><li>Discrimination against participatory democracy</li></ul>Many still view the decision-making process in the government as having to do with following directives from the top. The lack of employees’ participation in decision-making has contributed to a lethargic bureaucracy where nothing moves unless the top moves. This has results in an utter lack of initiative at the supervisory down to the rank-and-file level. Workers are treated as robots with unquestioned loyalties and commitment to work. In many offices, a civil servant has to deal with the moods of superiors who are oftentimes naughty and insensitive to their situation.<br /><ul><li>Failed attempt to standardize positions</li></ul>Mostly nowadays, position classifications and actual job assignment contradict or clash with the qualifications of the employee. Those who are in the higher position have given more attention than those who needs it the most. While those who are on the top are rejoicing with their privileges, the ones below them usually sacrifice and remain not contented. These results to the widening gap we have right now between top officials and the rank and file.<br /><ul><li>Gender discrimination and bias</li></ul>Managerial and supervisory positions are usually given to males despite a significant number of the government workforce being employed are women. Sexual harassment is now recognized and addressed as a problem in bureaucracy. Despite of all the policies issued by the government in avoidance of gender discrimination, still reproductive rights of women are not fully recognized and provided guarantees.<br /><ul><li>Security of Tenure</li></ul>Tenurial security in the government, though guaranteed under civil service rules, is slowly being eroded as a guarantee against political harassment and as a way to instill professionalism in the service. Under a new world economic order from the powers sought by the Ramos government reorganization, national governments will have to privatize some of its public services delivery functions and regulatory activities in trade and investments. Given such situations more public sector workers will lose job.<br /><ul><li>DISEMPOWERED WORKERS, STAGNANT BUREAUCRACY</li></ul>Though the institution provides for workers participation in decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits, they are still marginalized in the process of decision-making over national and sectoral policies.<br />Public sector employees, apart from being denied full union rights, are not consulted even on issued that affect their daily lives at the agency level.<br />CULTURAL CONDITIONS THAT COULD HAMPER UNIONISM BUT ARE IN THEMSELVES SURMOUNTABLE<br /><ul><li>Low Level of Organization</li></ul>The low level of organization in both the private and the public sector is reflective of the fledging labor movement which seems to have gone out of the wind in terms of comparing it to past militant struggles. Only about 10 percent of our workforce is possibly can be organized into trade unions.<br /><ul><li>Spoils System and Patronage</li></ul>Most new entrants to the civil service or for that matter, new hires, attribute their entry to the service as being owed to some important government officials. Endorsement, recommendations and other sort of letters from elected officials seeking favors find their way to heads of government agencies. While these letters are not unlawful, the message they deliver reflects the pervading perception of government employment as a system of reward or spoils for those who come out victorious in elections.<br /><ul><li>Culture of Fear and Silence</li></ul>Government workers are supposed to unquestionably follow orders even if they are deemed as anti-people or anti-poor. Many government workers fear their bosses are afraid to stick their necks out when they see something wrong in the office. They would not confront the issue so as not to offend their superiors or create unnecessary baggage for themselves. This breeds indifference which is worst than hate. Aside from this, workers also zipped up when faced with issues on corruption or petty thefts in the office.<br /><ul><li>Patriarchal system</li></ul>We lived in a society where many believed that men are stronger than women. As <br />workers female are assigned mostly to do clerical jobs and administrative jobs, they are reduced to stereotypes of public servants whose services are at the pleasures of the lord of the manor. For women, this means exerting doubly hard in order to be heard and to get to decision-making positions.<br />