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BIR employees form first labor union after more than 115 years

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By Jun Ramirez

After more than 115 years, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has finally formed its rank-and-file labor union which was recognized by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in time for Labor Day celebration on May 1.

Bureau of Internal Revenue (MANILA BULLETIN)

Bureau of Internal Revenue (MANILA BULLETIN)

A CSC certificate of accreditation was handed over to Leoher S. Ocampo, president of the BIR Employees Union (BIREU) by CSC regional officials after the flag raising ceremony attended by top revenue officials headed by Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay.

The formation of the labor union has been delayed for decades as employees and middle level executives were reluctant to join such organization for fear of being transferred despite an executive order signed by then President Cory Aquino recognizing the rights of civil servants to form a collective negotiating agreement (CNA) similar to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in the private sector.

Ocampo said BIREU has lined up several programs to benefit its more than 11,000 members like P25,000 annual extra bonus for each member out of the bureau’s savings from its budget.

He said the group will also work for the grant of rice allowance, shuttle service, and enhancement of the day-care center for the children of employees, as well as health and legal assistance.

Ocampo stressed the Constitution encourages the creation of labor union in all government service that can negotiate with management on terms and conditions of employment not fixed by law like salary.

Rank-and-file employees are workers with salary grade 24 and below, or those holding positions from revenue district officers, division chiefs, and below.

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