CONTEND Orientation Paper
Education workers have an important role to play in any movement for social change. Recognizing this, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND) takes up the challenge of organizing and leading a militant and progressive education workers’ movement.Philippine Society in CrisisMass poverty, gross inequalities in wealth and living standards, lack of the most basic social services—these are some of the manifestations of Philippine society in crisis. At the root of this crisis are fundamental problems that have afflicted the country since the beginning of the 20th century: an economy dominated by foreign capital, concentration of land ownership in the hands of a few big landlords, and a state that serves the interests of the ruling classes. Foreign domination extends to politics and culture, and has been responsible for the general retardation of socioeconomic development in the country.Recent decades have witnessed the worsening of this crisis. The state’s embrace of the IMF-World Bank dictated model of the “open” economy in a purportedly “globalized” world order—currently embodied by the US-Ramos regime’s Philippines 2000—ensures that the Philippines remains dependent on imports of expensive capital and consumer goods even as it relies on the export of cheap raw materials and labor for revenue. This development strategy—characterized by the opening up of the most profitable sectors of the economy to multinational corporations—further ensures that the Philippines remains backward, agricultural, and poor.
From its inception in the American colonial period, the Philippine educational system has remained primarily colonial in its orientation. As such, education in our society has generally served the interests of imperialism and its subalterns from among the domestic ruling classes.
The role played by the Philippine educational system in the “miseducation” of Filipinos has been well-studied and -documented. The American colonizers established the public school system in order to produce “good colonials”—Filipinos who identified the national interest with the interests of American monopoly capitalists and their partners among the local ruling classes.
The granting of independence in 1946 did not put an end to imperialist intervention in Philippine education. For instance, in 1964, the World Bank began financing various education projects. In 1969, the Philippine Commission to Survey Philippine Education (PCSPE) recommended that the thrust of education should be vocational-technical—the orientation favored by foreign corporations in search of cheap and docile labor. The World Bank-designed Education Act of 1982 is another landmark in this regard. Enacted by the US-Marcos dictatorship in the face of widespread opposition, this law sought a major overhaul of the educational system so that the latter could provide for the human resources requirements of the current development program—export-oriented manufacturing based on cheap labor—first introduced by the IMF-World Bank at the time.
Since the US-Ramos regime has remained totally committed to this model of socioeconomic development, its Education 2000 program merely introduces reforms in the educational system that would further fine-tune the latter to provide for the needs of multinational corporations even as it further exploits education workers. Education 2000 has actually formalized the execution of the policies of privatization, deregulation, and fiscal autonomy in the education sector.
The gradual disengagement of the state from education is part of a global strategy of strengthening capitalism. Anchored on the policy of privatization, such disengagement is tied to foreign debt servicing strategies. Inevitably, this has resulted in the rampant commercialization of education.
Finally, the educational system may be characterized as repressive. This is determined by its colonial and elitist orientation. In the majority of schools today, the prevailing atmosphere is one hostile to progressive thinking. The most basic rights of freedom of expression, academic freedom, and the right to organize are often unrecognized.
The crisis in educational takes its toll on teachers and education workers. The vast majority experience various forms of exploitation: teacher overwork, gross underpayment, extremely large class sizes, multigrade classes, a total of over 200 working days per year, de-skilling, insecurity of tenure, systematic depoliticization, repression of the right to organize, and poverty-level living conditions.
As such, education workers, just like other oppressed classes and sectors in society, are victims of imperialism and of domestic forms of exploitation.
CONTEND and the National Democratic Mass Movement
Faced with an ever-worsening social crisis, the Filipino people have not remained silent. For decades, a mass movement of workers, peasants, women, youth, indigenous peoples, professionals, and other oppressed classes and groups have waged a heroic struggle for genuine sovereignty and democracy.
CONTEND aims to promote a militant nationalist and progressive consciousness among teachers, to organize them on this basis, and to mobilize them in the Filipino people’s for a truly independent and democratic society.
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
CONGRESS OF TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY (CONTEND)
We, militant teachers and education workers from public and private tertiary education institutions all over the Philippines, fully aware of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of Philippine society and our role as agents of social change, and committed to raising the social and political consciousness of our fellow teachers and education workers, the defence of our democratic rights, and sharpening of our skills for the purpose of promoting a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education and culture, do hereby promulgate these Constitution and By-Laws.
NAME, DOMICILE, SEAL, AND COLORS
SECTION 1. This non-profit, non-stock organization shall be known as the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND).
SECTION 2. The office of CONTEND shall be at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, with regional offices to be established as necessary.
SECTION 3. The official seal of CONTEND shall be in black letters arranged horizontally with the letter T in red supporting a red triangle within which is a golden sun with five radiating golden rays. The full name of the organization is spelled out in two red lines serving as the base of the seal.
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
SECTION 1. CONTEND believes that education is a basic right and should be free and accessible to all Filipinos at all levels.
SECTION 2. Teachers and education workers should be provided with the necessary KNOWLEDGE, PERSPECTIVE, skills and training in the pursuit of nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education and culture.
SECTION 3. Teachers and education workers are entitled to all the rights and privileges of their profession including decent salaries, working conditions conducive to teaching and learning, the right to form and join unions, the right to access information that is pertinent to their work and welfare, and the right to strike.
SECTION 4. Education should be given top priority particularly in national and local budget allocations
SECTION 5. Education should serve the needs of the people for a better life and inculcate values of a free and just society, and of an independent and sovereign nation.
SECTION 6. CONTEND believes in promoting a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education and culture.
SECTION 7. CONTEND upholds the principles of a truly democratic organization and collective leadership.
SECTION 8. In the pursuit of the above principles, CONTEND works in unity with other progressive sectors towards the achievement of nationalism and democracy for the country.
SECTION 1. To promote and lay the foundations of a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education and culture.
SECTION 2. To help in the propagation of the principles and goals of the people’s struggle for nationalism and democracy.
SECTION 3. To uphold and defend the basic legal and human rights of teachers and education workers including the right to organize unions, engage in concerted activities and mobilization, and participate in democratic governance and policy-making in schools, colleges and universities.
SECTION 4. To sharpen the skills of teachers/educators and education workers and raise their political and social awareness to make them more effective agents of social change.
SECTION 5. To improve the quality of teaching, pedagogical orientation and philosophical outlook, and other academic activities responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Filipino masses.
SECTION 6. To guard against anti-people policies and programs that promote commercialization, marketization, and privatization in education, irregularities in the bureaucracy, and repressive policies that curtail democratic rights and instil discriminatory practices in terms of class, gender, ethnicity, and religion.
SECTION 7. To support efforts at securing better salaries/wages, fringe benefits and working conditions for teachers and other education workers through collective bargaining and collective action.
SECTION 8. To participate in the concerted struggle of all progressive sectors in Philippine society in achieving a democratic, just, and sovereign nation.
SECTION 9. To build international solidarity links with teachers and education workers and other progressive sectors and networks abroad on the basis of an anti-imperialist platform.
SECTION 1. Any teacher, researcher, education worker (students, activist and advocate) who subscribes to the Constitution, by-laws, policies and rules of CONTEND shall be eligible for membership.
SECTION 2. Membership shall include those who are permanent, temporary or contractual personnel in public and private educational institutions of higher learning. Students, activists and advocates who uphold CONTEND’s Constitution and by-laws, policies and rules as well as retired teachers, researchers and other education workers who continue to abide with the Constitution, by-laws, policies and rules of CONTEND shall be eligible for membership.
SECTION 3. Application for membership shall be on a prescribed form properly accomplished by the applicant. Membership shall be subject to approval by CONTEND’s Executive Board at the school level and reported to the Regional Executive Board (REB). Memberships shall be confirmed by the National Council in its regular meetings.
SECTION 4. The National Council of CONTEND shall decide on specific cases, and determine or interpret criteria on qualification for membership.
SECTION 5. Membership may be suspended or terminated by the Regional Council,
upon recommendation by the CONTEND’s Executive Board at the school level after appropriate hearing, on any of the following grounds:
(1) Disloyalty to the organization;
(2) Non-payment of dues for six (6) months;
(3) Culpable violation of the Constitution, policies and decisions of the
These actions should immediately be reported by the Regional Council to the National Executive Board. Appeals may be brought to the National Executive Board.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS
SECTION 1. Every member shall have the following rights:
a. The right to be represented and assisted by CONTEND in redress of grievances in places of academic/professional involvement;
b. The right to nominate and vote for officials of CONTEND at the appropriate levels;
c. The right to be nominated and elected to the appropriate governing body of CONTEND;
d. The right to access CONTEND’s reports including its financial reports;
e. Other rights that would most effectively make membership meaningful in carrying out the objectives of CONTEND;
SECTION 2. Parallel with the above rights, every member shall have the following responsibilities:
a. To uphold at all times CONTEND’s progressive, militant tradition and principles;
b. To commit one’s self to pursue CONTEND’S objectives, uphold its Constitution and By-Laws and policies, and cooperate fully in the implementation of its programs, services and projects;
c. To attend educational and organizational meetings, collective undertakings and other activities where cooperation is necessary; and
d. To pay dues, fees and such other assessments of CONTEND as the National Congress may impose from time to time.
SECTION 1. The following organs shall govern the affairs of CONTEND
a. The National Congress, which shall be the highest policy-making body of CONTEND
b. The National Council, which shall be the highest policy-making body of CONTEND in between Congresses.
c. The National Executive Board which shall implement, as well as adopt implementing and guiding policies and programs, in accordance with the general policies and programs passed by the National Congress and the National Council.
SECTION 2. The National Congress shall be composed of members in good standing acting through their respective representatives.
Each CONTEND SCHOOL CHAPTER shall automatically have three voting representatives to the National Congress and an additional one voting representative for every 50 members. The National Congress will determine the actual number of voting delegates for the next congress to ensure that there will be a commensurate distribution of voting delegates based on the organizational gains that we have accomplished
Groups in the pre-formation stage shall be entitled to the automatic representation of one voting delegate.
SECTION 3. The regular National Congress shall be held once every three (3) years.
SECTION 4. The National Council shall be composed of 15 members elected in the following manner:
a. Each regional chapter shall elect its representative to the National Council who shall be formally endorsed by its respective Board/Council to the National Congress through a written resolution; and
b. The remaining members to complete the 15 members of the National Council shall be elected at large during the National Congress.
SECTION 5. The National Executive Board shall be composed of the National Executive Officers: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and three (3) members elected at large.
SECTION 6. In the execution of CONTEND’s policies and programs the National Secretariat and the following Standing National Committees shall assist the National Executive Board:
a. Organizing/Membership Committee (OMC) is responsible for coordinating the organizing of teachers and implementing the rules of membership and policies on expansion and consolidation work.
b. Research and Documentation Committee (RDC) oversees the research and publication of studies, handbooks, and mass literature of CONTEND.
c. Education Committee (EC) supervises the education work like seminars, workshops, and symposia at the national, regional, and local levels.
d. Finance and Resources Committee (FRC) is in charge of the implementation of monetary policies including membership dues, professional fees, honoraria, etc. and the raising of funds through donations, projects, and other sourcing activities.
e. Women’s Committee (WC) serves the special needs of women teachers (who constitute the majority of the teaching force) who experience various forms of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, It will initiate programs and policies designed to develop gender sensitivity and address problems facing women teachers.
f. International Solidarity Committee (ISC) is responsible for building an international network of contacts especially in education for solidarity purposes.
The Chairperson with the concurrence of the National Executive Board may create other committees as may be needed.
SECTION 7. The National Secretariat shall be composed of the Secretary-General as chair and the heads of the standing committees as members, with a staff whose functions shall be to attend to the day-to-day technical needs of CONTEND in the implementation of its policies and programs.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL
SECTION 1. The National Council shall have the power:
a. To conduct, manage, and control the business affairs and activities of CONTEND;
b. To determine policies, make rules and regulations consistent with the law, the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws of CONTEND, the decisions of the National Congress, as may be necessary for the management of the corporate affairs of CONTEND;
c. To elect the national officers of CONTEND;
d. To appoint, prescribe the duties of, and remove for cause officers and employees of CONTEND;
e. To enter into contracts and incur indebtedness;
f. To do any and all other things necessary and proper or incidental to the exercise of the above powers and achieve the purpose of CONTEND.
SECTION 2. It shall be the duty of the National Council:
a. To cause to be kept a complete record of all the minutes of proceedings and acts of CONTEND;
b. To supervise and see that the funds of CONTEND are properly utilized for the purpose for which they are intended.
SECTION 3. Members of the National Council shall not receive compensation for services rendered as such nor for attendance at meetings, but may be reimbursed for travelling and other expenses incurred in connection with meetings and functions.
SECTION 1. The National Officers who shall be elected every three (3) years by each new National Council from among its members are: a Chairperson; Vice-chairperson, a Secretary-General; a Treasurer; and an Auditor.
SECTION 2. The Chairperson shall have the following duties:
a. Preside over all meetings of the National Convention, the National Council, and the National Executive Board;
b. Supervise the activities and business of CONTEND as he/she may deem proper;
c. Sign all contracts, documents, or agreements with the power to delegate the same to any other member of the National Council or officers of CONTEND as he/she may deem proper.
SECTION 3. The Vice-chairperson shall have the following functions:
a. Undertake tasks assigned by the Chairperson from time to time in accordance with CONTEND’s orientation and program of action;
b. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall take over the responsibilities of the Chairperson and preside over the meetings of the National Executive Board, the National Council, and the National Congress until such time that the Chairperson is able to take over.
SECTION 4. The Secretary-General shall have the following duties:
a. Head a secretariat for the purpose of administering the day-to-day operations of CONTEND;
b. Perform all other functions that pertain to the office and tasks prescribed by the National Council.
SECTION 5. The Treasurer shall have the following duties:
a. Be the custodian of all funds and properties of CONTEND;
b. Draw the biennial budget of CONTEND to be approved by the National Congress;
c. Collect, receive, and issue receipts for all monies, funds, and contributions to CONTEND;
d. Deposit the funds of CONTEND in the bank/banks designated by the National Council;
e. Submit a complete financial report for the past year during the annual meetings or as required by the National Council and/or Executive Committee;
f. Perform such other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the National Council.
SECTION 6. The Auditor shall perform the following duties:
a. Audit, verify and examine all financial accounts of CONTEND;
b. Render a report thereof to the National Council or as required by law.
SECTION 1. Regular meetings shall be as follows: once a year for the National Congress; twice a year for the National Council; once a month for the Executive Board.
SECTION 2. Special meetings of the National Congress or the National council may be called by the Chairperson or upon petition by the majority of the National Council or at least 30 percent of all members of each organization. Special meetings of standing committees may be called either by the chairperson or by request of at least two members.
SECTION 3. Notice of meetings shall be published three (3) months in advance in the case of the National Congress; one (1) month in advance in case of the National Council, except in cases of emergency where a shorter period of notice is necessary. Notices shall contain the main business to be taken up.
SECTION 4. A quorum, defined as one half (1/2) plus one of the membership of any organ or committee, must be obtained to transact business. In the event that is not obtained, the members present may proceed with the order of business provided the question of quorum is not raised; provided further that business transacted in the absence of a quorum may be repealed by a petition of the majority of the members.
SECTION 1. The election of the members of the National Council shall be held during a regular meeting of the National Congress which is convened every three years. The election of the officers of the National Council shall be held within the same day the National Council members are elected.
SECTION 2. Only members of good standing shall be eligible to vote in elections. Candidates must be members of CONTEND in good standing for a prior period of at least one (1) year, except in the case of those running in the regular elections.
SECTION 3. Elections shall be by secret ballot and shall be decided by plurality of votes.
SECTION 4. There shall be a Committee on Elections, the members of which shall be appointed by the National Council at least three months before each National Congress to supervise the election of the members of the National Council.
SECTION 5. Should a seat or position in the National Council become vacant, it shall be filled by the majority vote of the remaining members of the Council, if still constituting a quorum, and the member or officer so chosen shall serve for the unexpired portion of his/her office.
SECTION 1. The funds of CONTEND will be derived from:
a. Membership fees, dues, assessments, and other contributions from members;
b. Donations, bequests, legacies and other benevolent contributions from third parties;
c. Loans and other sources as may be authorized by law.
SECTION 2. All funds of CONTEND shall be deposited in the name of CONTEND in such bank or banks as the National Council may designate, and shall be withdrawn by means of checks, drafts, notes or other instruments signed by such person or persons authorized by the National Council.
CONTEND is an affiliate of the ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS-PHILIPPINES (ACT-Phils), a confederation of public and private sector unions and organizations in the education sector in the country. Such affiliation will ensure a stronger voice for the organization and for education personnel nation-wide.
CONTEND REGIONAL CHAPTERS
SECTION 1. CONTEND Regional Chapters shall be organized in each region of the country where at least three CONTEND school chapters exist. CONTEND’S REGIONAL Council is composed of the Regional Chapter Officers and the Chairs of the school chapters of CONTEND. The Regional Council is the highest policy making body for CONTEND at the regional level. It shall be guided by the standing policies and resolutions of the CONTEND’s National Congress, National Council and the National Executive Committee in coming up with plans and resolutions. It shall elect the Regional Executive Board officials whose term will be for three years. The Regional Council shall meet every three months or as often as called for by CONTEND’s Regional Executive Board.
SECTION 2. CONTEND’S REGIONAL Executive Board shall be the highest decision-making body of CONTEND’S REGIONAL CHAPTER in between meetings of the REGIONAL Chapter Council and shall meet every two months.
SECTION 3. The Regional Executive Board shall be composed of five officers with the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) REGIONAL Chapter Chair: presides over meetings and activities of the chapter; initiates meetings; notifies members and officers; coordinates with the national officers; provides reports as requested by the national officers.
(b) REGIONAL Chapter Vice-Chair: takes over the functions of the Chapter Chair if he/she is unable to perform them and perform other functions designated by the REGIONAL Chapter Council
(c) REGIONAL Chapter Secretary : keeps the minutes of meetings, membership records, and consults with the REGIONAL chapter Chair in the setting of the agenda, time, date, and place of meetings; heads the REGIONAL chapter secretariat;
(d) REGIONAL Chapter Treasurer: keeps the financial records of the chapter; monitors payment of the union dues; assists in REGIONAL fund raising activities; provides reports to the regional treasurer as requested; issues remittances and assessments to the regional l union fund; coordinates with the regional auditor; signs checks, receipts, and payments for the union, provided that checks and withdrawals from chapter bank accounts shall be countersigned by the regional chapter Chair; and is a member of the Regional Finance Committee of CONTEND
(e) REGIONAL Chapter Auditor: a) Audit, analyze, and provide recommendations on the financial report prepared by the REGIONAL Chapter Treasurer; Ensure the preservation of the financial records; and provide audit reports on the status of THE CHAPTER funds.
SECTION 4. CONTEND’S REGIONAL Chapter Officers shall have a term of office of three years. They may be re-elected, but could serve for a maximum of three successive terms only.
SECTION 5. The REGIONAL Chapter Officers are directly elected in a REGIONAL Chapter Council Meeting called to elect the officers. CONTEND’s NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD shall constitute a Search and Election Committee (SEC) for each REGIONAL Chapter when there is a need for an election. The SEC will set the rules, procedures, date, time, and place for the elections. Qualifications, nominations, rules, procedures, and other details shall be disseminated and posted at least one month before the chapter elections.
Article XIV: CONTEND SCHOOL CHAPTERS
SECTION 1. CONTEND SCHOOL chapters will be established in every institution of higher learning where there are at least 10 members. The school chapter will be named CONTEND- ________________ name of school chapter.
SECTION 2. CONTEND SCHOOL CHAPTERS shall have the following responsibilities:
a) Hold regular meetings to discuss concerns of CONTEND members in the school, discuss the plans of the Regional CHAPTER and NATIONAL governing bodies, and of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to which it is affiliated and take appropriate actions to address these concerns and particularize these plans.
b) Conduct education and training on the modules and education program of CONTEND
c) Initiate researches on issues and concerns related to the education sector and to national and class issues
d) Launch appropriate collective actions in the school and participate in the campaigns, projects and programs of CONTEND and of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to which it is affiliated;
e) Ensure the recruitment of new members of CONTEND in the school and help organize CONTEND chapters in other schools;
f) Initiate exposure and solidarity programs with the basic sectors to develop close links between the teachers/education personnel and the workers, farmers and urban poor.
g) Participate in the meetings of CONTEND’S REGIONAL COUNCIL AND REGIONAL Assembly through their representatives.
h) Submit regular report to the NATIONAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNING BODIES OF CONTEND.
i) Perform other tasks as designated by the REGIONAL COUNCIL and NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CONTEND.
SECTION 3. CONTEND’s School Chapter General Membership meeting, attended by all members of the organization in the school shall be the highest policy making body of the local or school chapters. It meets every other month to receive the report of the school chapter Executive Board, discuss local concerns and directives and memoranda from the CONTEND’s governing bodies at the regional level and national levels as well as those from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers to which it is affiliated; approve resolutions and other proposals.
SECTION 4. CONTEND’S school chapter will have a School Chapter Executive Board which shall govern the chapter in between General Membership meetings. It meets monthly.
SECTION 5. The School Executive Board is composed of four (4) officers, with the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) UNION local Chapter Chair: presides over meetings and activities of the school chapter; initiates meetings; notifies members and officers; coordinates with the Regional Chapter officers; provides reports as requested by the Regional and National officers of CONTEND as well as the governing bodies of ACT
(b) Local Vice-Chair: takes over the functions of the Chapter Chair if he/she is unable to perform them and perform other functions designated by the School Chapter Executive Board
(c) Local Chapter Secretary : keeps the minutes of meetings, membership records, and consults with the School chapter Chair in the setting of the agenda, time, date, and place of meetings;
(d) Local Chapter Treasurer: keeps the financial records of the chapter; monitors payment of the union dues; assists in union fund raising activities; provides reports to the Regional Chapter treasurer as requested; issues remittances and assessments to the regional union fund; coordinates with the union auditor; signs checks, receipts, and payments for the union, provided that checks and withdrawals from chapter bank accounts shall be countersigned by the union local chapter Chair;
SECTION 6. CONTEND’s School Chapter Officers shall have a term of office of three years. They may be re-elected, but should serve for a maximum of three terms only.
SECTION 7. The School Chapter Officers are directly elected by their members in a School Chapter General Membership Meeting election. The Regional Chapter Executive Board shall constitute a Search and Election Committee (SEC) for each School Chapter when there is a need for an election. The SEC will set the rules, procedures, date, time, and place for the elections. Qualifications, nominations, rules, procedures, and other details shall be disseminated and posted at least one month before the local/school chapter elections.
SECTION 8. CONTEND’s school chapter Executive Board may create committees or task forces to ensure implementation of plans and activities.
These Constitution and By-Laws may be amended, repealed or modified, in whole or in part by a majority of the members of the National Congress at any regular or special meeting duly called for the purpose.
REVISION AND AMENDMENTS ADOPTED on the twenty-sixth day of February 2013 in College of Mass Communications Auditorium by the affirmative votes of those present at the GENERAL MEETING OF CONTEND-UP DILIMAN CHAPTER
TO BE PROPOSED TO THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF CONTEND ONCE IT IS CONVENED