Teachers clamor for salary increase-A A +A
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
PUBLIC elementary and secondary teachers continue to cry out to government after President Benigno Aquino III declared there will be no salary increases for teachers and government employees.
In a gathering of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers here in the Summer Capital, Manila Public Schools Teachers Association president Louie Zababa said Aquino remains unwilling to approve House Bill 245, a bill calling for the salary increase.
"Sa halip na pakinggan ay patuloy siyang nagbibingi-bingihan," he said.
HB 245 aims to increase the minimum monthly salaries of public school teachers from P18,549 to P25,000 and non-teaching personnel from P9,000 to P15,000.
The bill was proposed in Congress citing the current pay scheme of government does not fulfill the criteria for salaries set by the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers which mandates teachers' salaries must be able to provide reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families.
Article XIV, Section 5 of the Philippine Constitution also states the highest budgetary priority to education will be assigned and salaries of teachers must give them "job satisfaction and fulfillment."
Zababa claimed the current salary of teachers can no longer provide for their needs because of the high cost of living and benefit deductions.
Teachers blame the Performance Based Bonus wherein all monetary compensations and adjustments are based only on their individual performances for their financial constraints.
In this scheme, the P10,000 bonus which they receive during December was decreased to P5,000; the Performance Enhancement Incentive was removed; and their P2,000 productivity pay which they receive during February is also now at risk.
Without these benefits, a teacher’s monthly pay slip only comprises their regular wage and personal economic relief assistance. Additions to these include the P5,000 worth of clothing allowance and P1,000 chalk allowance given once a year.
This as Vladimir Quetua, deputy secretary-general of ACT, expressed their plan to have a mass leave on the opening of classes on June if their demand remains unheard.
"Pwedeng isang buwan, pwedeng isang araw," he said.
"Kung nananatiling bingi at manhid itong pangulong nasa Malacañang ay lalabas at lalabas ang mga guro lalo na ngayong darating na Hunyo sa mga paaralan upang magsagawa ng isang malawakang pagkundena," Zababa seconded.
The mass leave, they explained, is inspired by the hunger strike for the salary increase of teachers on 1989 at the National Press Club.
Quetua said aside from the salary increase, an increase in the budget of the education sector of the country is part of their petition.
ACT has 55,000 teacher-members in NCR and has more than 20,000 members, nationwide, backing the petition. (Giovani Joy Fontanilla)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 08, 2014.