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MARIÑO VS. GAMILLA ISSUE: W/N the check-off collected was valid?

PETITIONER: Mariño Jr., et al. HELD: NO


RESPONDENT: Gamilla, et al. 1. Said check-off is contrary to law, specifically to RA 6728. The P42 M
Ponente: Chico Nazario, J. economic benefits package was sourced from the faculty members’
share in the tuition fee increases under RA 6728. Under said law,
DOCTRINE: Attorney’s fees, negotiation fees, and other similar charges may 70% of the tuition fee increases should be allotted to academic and
only be collected from union funds, not from the amounts that pertain to non-academic personnel. The P4.2 M collected was in the nature of
individual union members. As an exception to the general rule, special attorney’s fees or negotiation fees and, therefore, fell under the
assessments or other extraordinary fees may be levied upon or checked off general prohibition against such fees as provided under Articles 222
from any amount due an employee for as long as there is proper (b), 241 (n) and (o) of the Labor Code.1 Any deduction should not be
authorization by the employee. allowed because it would ultimately result in the reduction of the
statutorily mandated 70% allotment from the tuition fee increases of
FACTS: UST.
1. Petitioners were among the executive officers and directors of the 2. Said law was not arbitrarily applied considering that the parties
UST Faculty Union (Union), the bargaining representative of UST. themselves stipulated in the MOA that the P42 M is “chargeable
Respondents were UST professors and Union members. against the share of the faculty members in the incremental proceeds
2. UST and the Union entered into a CBA in 1991 which was to be of tuition fees collected.”
effective until 1993, to be subjected to renegotiations on the last 2 3. The general rule is that attorney’s fees, negotiation fees, and other
years. In 1992, UST and the Union executed a Memorandum of similar charges may only be collected from union funds, not from the
Agreement (MOA) whereby faculty members were granted additional amounts that pertain to individual union members. As an exception
economic benefits totaling P42 Million. Said agreement had the to the general rule, special assessments or other extraordinary fees
following provision, among others: “It is clearly understood and may be levied upon or checked off from any amount due an
agreed upon that the aggregate sum of P42 million is chargeable employee for as long as there is proper authorization by the
against the share of the faculty members in the incremental proceeds employee.
of tuition fees collected and still to be collected.” 4. A check-off is a process or device whereby the employer, on
3. In 1992, majority of the Union members signed individual instruments agreement with the Union, recognized as the proper bargaining
of ratification which signified their consent to the said benefits representative, or on prior authorization from the employees, deducts
granted under the MOA. Said document authorized the check-off of union dues or agency fees from the latter’s wages and remits them
10% covering union dues, and special assessment for Labor directly to the Union. The system of check-off is primarily for the
Education Fund and attorney’s fees from Union members and benefit of the Union and, only indirectly, for the individual employees.
agency fee from non-members.
4. 10% of the P42M economic benefits package or P4.2M was then
1 Article 222 (b) No attorney’s fees, negotiation fees or similar charges of any kind arising from any
collective bargaining negotiations or conclusion of the collective agreement shall be imposed on any
remitted to the Union. individual member of the contracting union: Provided, however, that attorney’s fees may be charged
5. Respondents filed with the Med-Arbiter a Complaint for expulsion of against unions funds in an amount to be agreed upon by the parties. Any contract, agreement or
the Mariño group as Union officers for violating the rights and arrangement of any sort to the contrary shall be null and void.
conditions of membership in Union, particularly: ratifying the CBA
Article 241(n) No special assessment or other extraordinary fees may be levied upon the members
involving the P42 M economic benefits package and approving the
of a labor organization unless authorized by a written resolution of a majority of all the members at
attorney’s fees worth P4.2 M in the form of check-off. a general membership meeting duly called for the purpose. The secretary of the organization shall
6. DOLE-NCR Regional Director ruled in favor of the respondents and record the minutes of the meeting including the list of all members present, the votes cast, the
found the Mariño group guilty of violating the provisions of the Union purpose of the special assessment or fees and the recipient of such assessment or fees. The record
Constitution and By-Laws. It also declared that the check-off was shall be attested to by the president.
invalid, and ordered the group to refund the Union of said amount. Article 241(o) Other than for mandatory activities under the Code, no special assessments,
7. On appeal, BLR as well as the CA affirmed the decision to return the attorney’s fees, negotiation fees or any other extraordinary fees may be checked off from any
P4.2M. amount due to an employee without an individual written authorization duly signed by the
employee. The authorization should specifically state the amount, purpose and beneficiary of the
deduction.‰
5. In the instant case, the P42 M package did not constitute union funds
from whence the P4.2 M could have been validly deducted as
attorney’s fees. It was not intended for the Union coffers, but for all
the members of the bargaining unit represented, member or non-
member.
6. The Court further determines that the requisites for a valid levy and
check-off of special assessments have not been complied with in the
case at bar. To recall, these requisites are:
1) an authorization by a written resolution of the majority of all
the union members at the general membership meeting duly
called for the purpose;
2) secretary’s record of the minutes of the meeting; and
3) individual written authorization for check-off duly signed by
the employee concerned.
7. The ratification made by the employees constitutes unsatisfactory
compliance. It vitiated the consent of the members.

DISPOSTION: Petition for Review under Rule 45 is hereby DENIED.

OTHERS: Another issue of the case is on the election of new officers.


When said election was held, respondents tried to enjoin it through a
TRO. However, election was still held and majority of the elected officers
were from the group of the respondents. The SC ruled that issue of who
between the officers of the Mariño group and of the Gamilla Group are
the legitimate officers has been rendered moot by the succeeding events
in the case following the expiry of the term of the Gamilla group.