Asian Institute of Management vs. Asian Institute of Management Faculty Association
G.R. No. 207971, January 23, 2017
Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is a duly registered non stock, non-profit educational institution. Asian Institute of Management Faculty Association (AFA) is a labor organization composed of members of the AIM faculty, duly registered Certificate of Registration No. NCR-UR-12-4076-2004.
AFA filed a petition for certification election seeking to represent a bargaining unit in AIM consisting of forty (40) faculty members. The case was docketed as DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-M-0705-007. AIM opposed the petition, claiming that AFA’s members are neither rank-and-file nor supervisory, but rather, managerial employees.
AIM filed a petition for cancellation of AFA’s certificate of registration – docketed as DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-0707-001-LRD – on the grounds of misrepresentation in registration and that AFA is composed of managerial employees who are prohibited from organizing as a union.
Med Arbiter Ruling (on Petition for CE):
The Med-Arbiter in DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-M-0705-007 issued an Order denying the petition for certification election on the ground that AIM’s faculty members are managerial employees.
This Order was appealed by AFA before the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),
Secretary of Labor Ruling:
The Secretary of Labor reversed the Med Arbiter ruling via a February 20, 2009 Decision and May 4, 2009 Resolution.
Meanwhile, in DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-0707-001-LRD, an Order dated February 16, 2009 was issued by DOLE-NCR Regional Director Raymundo G. Agravante granting AIM’s petition for cancellation of AFA’s certificate of registration and ordering its delisting from the roster of legitimate labor organizations. This Order was appealed by AFA before the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR), which, in a December 29, 2009 Decision, reversed the same and ordered AFA’s retention in the roster of legitimate labor organizations.
The BLR held that the grounds relied upon in the petition for cancellation are not among the grounds authorized under Article 239 of the Labor Code, and that AFA’s members are not managerial employees. AIM moved to reconsider, but was rebuffed in a March 18, 2010 Resolution.
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AIM filed a Petition for Certiorari before the CA, questioning the DOLE Secretary’s February 20, 2009 Decision and May 4, 2009 Resolution relative to DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-M-0705-007, or AFA’s petition for certification election.
The petition is based on the arguments that 1) the bargaining unit within AIM sought to be represented is composed of managerial employees who are not eligible to join, assist, or form any labor organization, and 2) AFA is not a legitimate labor organization that may conduct a certification election.
The CA granted the petition.
It held that AIM’s tenure-track faculty do not merely recommend faculty standards. They ‘determine all faculty standards’, and are thus managerial employees. The standards’ being subjected to the approval of the Board of Trustees would not make AIM’s tenure-track faculty non-managerial because as earlier mentioned, managerial employees are now of two categories: (1) those who ‘lay down policies’, such as the members of the Board of Trustees, and those who ‘execute management policies (etc.)’, such as AIM’s tenure-track faculty.
AFA sought reconsideration, but was denied. It thus instituted a Petition for Review on Certiorari before this Court on July 4, 2011. The Petition, docketed as G.R. No. 197089, remains pending to date.
Whether or not the petition for cancellation is the proper remedy filed in this case
The SC found the filing proper.
The SC cited the case of Holy Child Catholic School v. Hon. Sto, Tomas in holding that “[i]n case of alleged inclusion of disqualified employees in a union, the proper procedure for an employer like AIM is to directly file a petition for cancellation of the union’s certificate of registration due to misrepresentation, false statement or fraud under the circumstances enumerated in Article 239 of the Labor Code, as amended.”
On the basis of the ruling in the above-cited case, it can be said that AIM was correct in filing a petition tor cancellation of AFA’s certificate of registration.
AIM’s sole ground for seeking cancellation of AFA’s certificate of registration – that its members are managerial employees and for this reason, its registration is thus a patent nullity for being an absolute violation of Article 245 of the Labor Code which declares that managerial employees are ineligible to join any labor organization – is, in a sense, an accusation that AFA is guilty of misrepresentation for registering under the claim that its members are not managerial employees.
However, the issue of whether AFA’s members are managerial employees is still pending resolution by way of petition for review on certiorari in G.R. No. 197089, which is the culmination of all proceedings in DOLE Case No. NCR-OD-M-0705-007 – where the issue relative to the nature of AFA’s membership was first raised by AIM itself and is there fiercely contested.
The resolution of this issue cannot be pre-empted; until it is determined with finality in G.R. No. 197089, the petition for cancellation of AFA’s certificate of registration on the grounds alleged by AIM cannot be resolved. As a matter of courtesy and in order to avoid conflicting decisions, the SC resolved to await the resolution of the petition in G.R. No. 197089.
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