Thursday, September 2, 2010

FEATI University v. Judge Bautista & FEATI University Faculty

Chester Cabalza recommends his visitors to please read the original & full text of the case cited. Xie xie!

G.R. No. L-21278 December 27, 1966

HON. JOSE S. BAUTISTA, Presiding Judge of the Court of Industrial Relations and FEATI UNIVERSITY FACULTY CLUB-PAFLU, respondents.


The private respondent wrote a letter to president of petitioner informing her of the organization of the Faculty Club into a registered labor union.

President of the Faculty Club sent another letter containing twenty-six demands that have connection with the employment of the members of the Faculty Club by the University, and requesting an answer within ten days from receipt thereof. The President of the University answered the two letters, requesting that she be given at least thirty days to study thoroughly the different phases of the demands.

Meanwhile counsel for the University, to whom the demands were referred, wrote a letter to the President of the Faculty Club demanding proof of its majority status and designation as a bargaining representative.

President of the Faculty Club filed a notice of strike with the Bureau of Labor alleging as reason therefore the refusal of the University to bargain collectively.

The parties were called to conferences but efforts to conciliate them failed.

Members of the Faculty Club declared a strike and established picket lines in the premises of the University, resulting in the disruption of classes in the University. President of the Philippines certified to the Court of Industrial Relations the dispute between the management of the University and the Faculty Club pursuant to the provisions of Section 10 of Republic Act No. 875.

The Judge endeavored to reconcile the part and it was agreed upon that the striking faculty members would return to work and the University would readmit them under a status quo arrangement. On that very same day, however, the University, thru counsel filed a motion to dismiss the case upon the ground that the CIR has no jurisdiction over the case, because (1) the Industrial Peace Act is not applicable to the University, it being an educational institution, nor to the members of the Faculty Club, they being independent contractors; and (2) the presidential certification is violative of Section 10 of the Industrial Peace Act, as the University is not an industrial establishment and there was no industrial dispute which could be certified to the CIR.

The respondent judge denied the motion to dismiss. The University filed a motion for reconsideration by the CIRen banc, without the motion for reconsideration having been acted upon by the CIR en banc, respondent Judge set the case for hearing but the University moved the cancellation of the said hearing upon the ground that the court en banc should first hear the motion for reconsideration and resolve the issues raised therein before the case is heard on the merits but denied.

Faculty Club filed with the CIR in Case 41-IPA a petition to declare in contempt of court certain parties, alleging that the University refused to accept back to work the returning strikers, in violation of the return-to-work order.

The University filed its opposition to the petition for contempt by way of special defense that there was still the motion for reconsideration which had not yet been acted upon by the CIR en banc. Hence, this petition.


Whether or not FEATI is an employer within the purview of the Industrial Peace Act.


The Supreme Court denied the petition. Based on RA 875 Section 2(c) The term employer include any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly, but shall not include any labor organization (otherwise than when acting as an employer) or any one acting in the capacity or agent of such labor organization.

In this case, the University is operated for profit hence included in the term of employer. Professors and instructors, who are under contract to teach particular courses and are paid for their services, are employees under the Industrial Peace Act.

Professors and instructors are not independent contractors. university controls the work of the members of its faculty; that a university prescribes the courses or subjects that professors teach, and when and where to teach; that the professors’ work is characterized by regularity and continuity for a fixed duration; that professors are compensated for their services by wages and salaries, rather than by profits; that the professors and/or instructors cannot substitute others to do their work without the consent of the university; and that the professors can be laid off if their work is found not satisfactory. All these indicate that the university has control over their work; and professors are, therefore, employees and not independent contractors.

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