This was the scenario last October 8, 2016 when volunteers composed of Imus Institute alumni where a prayer vigil was done to show support for their beloved high school teachers. The event is to show support for the twenty or so teachers and employees of the school who went on strike against management in the decisions that they have taken.
The issue started last year when the Board of Trustees of Imus Institute decided to rename the school, thus the legal identity of Imus Institute have ceased or simply died. This caused confusion to the teachers because the Imus Institute Employees Union or IIEU signed a collective bargaining agreement with Imus Institute Inc. or simply Imus Institute which is binding until the year 2020. Enclosed in the agreement are the rights of employees such as benefits, security of tenure and more.
Since the legal identity of Imus Institute Inc. has ceased, the teachers went on strike, as they have been clearly fooled by the management. If we are to look closely, the new school is on the same building, address and even the board of trustees/directors are the same. Even the other employees who did not went on strike are the same people that can be seen before the changes. The only change that can be observed is the change of name, but looking at it on a legal perspective, what really happened is that Imus Institute Inc. died and that the new school by the name of Imus Institute of Science and Technology is born.
This is clearly a legal way to divert the law and start again. Through this, all obligations of the old corporation would die and the new corporation is not required by law to pay all previous obligations if the old corporation have declared bankruptcy. Looking at it in a business perspective, it is the right decision, but, to leave things unclear to tenured teachers who have been the backbone of the Institution, who have given their blood, sweat and lifetime in molding the students, it is inhumane.
Now, it seems that the management does not want to talk things trough with the teachers went on strike. The alumni also expressed their disgust, guilt and anger on social media. Yet, as the saying goes, life goes on and business as usual. It pains me to see my former teachers outside the vicinity of the school and protesting all day under the heat of the sun. After teaching for around two decades, all their sacrifices, hardwork and passion would just end because of a business decision. They know from the start that they won’t be rich in the profession but because of their passion, they continued serving and teaching to instill knowledge, wisdom and values to students who greatly need them to be a better individual. They just want the collective bargaining agreement to be binding even though the other half of the signatory legally ceased.
I feel blessed to have been taught by the best. Yet for now, even though the sun seems to set on their hopes, there will always be people around them who would stand by them, shout with them and support them because they are fighting for their rights. Even though they are on the losing end, I still continue to admire them as they showed me how to fight and stand up to our ideals. ‘Till the end, they are still my idols.