HEEND vs. the UPR Administration

By: Valeria Núñez and Patricia Nieves

The HEEND Symbol. It has been an organization for 30 years.

The HEEND Symbol. It has been an organization for 30 years.

Three years ago the University of Puerto Rico administration (UPR) promised the “Hermandad de Empleados Excentos No Docentes (HEEND)” a $5,000 salary increase for the preceding four years. To this day employees have not received payment.

The HEEND is an association responsible for preserving the interests of non-teaching employees at the university. It has been around for 30 years, fighting for the interests of non-teaching employees and the creation of the well-known collective agreement, between the UPR administration and the employees. Its objective is to organize and represent the university employees and negotiate their rights with the UPR. The most faithful ally of the HEEND are college students.

In August 2012, the employees threated the UPR administration to start again a protest because of the lack of commitment and ethics of the UPR with the HEEND.          The president of the UPR in 2009, Antonio García Padilla, promised the employees an salary increase of $140 monthly but by the time this arrangement was approved a change of administration occurred and they did not fulfill the agreement. The UPR established that there were no funds and the amount that was promised could not be paid.

“The HEEND also demanded the university administration to pay a debt of more than $ 5,000 to each member of that union, by an increase in salary of $ 140 per month which should have entered into effect in 2009, but they were not honored.” [endi.com]

Because the UPR did not fulfill the agreement, the HEEND had been pressured to force its rights using protests as instruments to validate itself. The last protest was in May 2012 and there were no agreements reached.

The HEEND in a protest, fighting for their rights. “He who has not obtained a right to violate other people to keep theirs,” Jose Martí

The HEEND in a protest, fighting for their rights. “He who has not obtained a right to violate other people to keep theirs,” Jose Martí

“To this date of 54 clauses of the collective agreement in negotiation, only 14 were approved in a span of 11 months,” [endi.com]. Its explains how many agreements the employees wanted and how many the administration had been approved.

“If he [Muñoz], as president of the University, understands that his responsibility is to keep the country and the university community in check, and did not give them the opportunities that should be offered, from the point of view of dialogue, and sought other alternatives, to then take up the responsibility for our future union actions and what the future holds next at the University of Puerto Rico “, said the president of the HEEND. The quote explains how the HEEND tried to search for new alternatives to get to an agreement without harming the college students but the UPR president, Dr. Miguel Muñoz, didn’t want to get to any agreement even though the consequences would affect the students directly.

The HEEND threatened the UPR with a work stoppage in August 2012 but before it was carried out, they obtained an agreement with the administration. The administration agreed to pay the employees the amount of $1,000 for what the University of Puerto Rico owed them.

Because this situation affects the students in the fact that classes where misses and then is more work to do for them beside what they already had, it is important to know what they are thinking.

During class period, we interview some students to see how many of them knew what is happening between the UPR administration and the employees. Most of them did not know what the HEEND is. Others knew that they are the non-teachers association because they heard about them in different places. The question that were asked are: Do you have any knowledge of what the HEEND is fighting for?, Do you agree or disagree of how the HEEND was handling the situation? and Do you think this situation was fair to the HEEND?

Stephanie Albarrán, 5th year student, Pre-Med, Albarrán knows who the HEEND is and agrees with the HEEND because “they have the right to claim what they earned but they have to work too; if the administration promised the employees an increase they have to give them one, it is not fair for the employees to pay for the administration’s mistakes, if they could not afford the salary increase they should not have offered it in the first place: they should fight for their rights.” Another student, John Valentín, 2nd year, INQ, said that it is unfair that the HEEND had to protest like they did to be listened to, but it was not the right way to approach  this matter, it affects us, students,  in so many ways, the administration should listen more so that the HEEND could stop doing the protest.” A Human Resources student, Angelis Ramos, 3th year; said, “I agree the way they have manage the situation and I think that they have to be listened to no matter what, is their rights.”

It can be noticed that not all the students agree in how the HEEND had managed the situation but they all agree that they have to fight for their rights.

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