Tuesday, October 6, 2009
MANILA, Philippines - The teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said despite the worldwide celebration of World Teachers’ Day yesterday, teachers, especially those in public schools, are still not being fully appreciated because of their inadequate salary and benefits.
Antonio Tinio, ACT national chairperson, said the inadequate pay raise given by the recent enactment of the new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) and their continuing battle against over-deductions and difficulties in obtaining loans with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), make the lives of teachers difficult in the Philippines.
“Sadly, teachers, whether from public or private schools are still not given decent compensation showing a lack of appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices,” Tinio said.
“Our underpaid public school teachers, who resort to loans to make ends meet and support their own families are given a harder time by the GSIS through their claims and loan interdependency program,” he added.
ACT, in observance of World Teachers’ Day, has urged governments all over the world “to provide teachers with the resources and support necessary to attain quality education for all.”
Tinio said that despite the SSL-3, they will continue to fight for a higher salary.
The so-called Salary Standardization Law 3, which upgraded the Teacher I position by one salary grade or from Salary Grade 10 to 11 and provides an increase of P6,500 over four years, was inadequate, according to Tinio, since it did not cover for the lack of pay hike for teachers for several years during which inflation and the cost of living also rose.
“The pay hike granted by SSL3, coming after a six-year moratorium on public sector salary increases, remains inadequate because it fails to restore the purchasing power of teachers’ salaries eroded by the rising cost of living,” ACT said in a statement.
“Furthermore, the SSL3 fails to address the long-standing distortion in standardized salaries whereby teachers are paid lower than other positions with lower qualifications,” ACT noted.
“For these reasons, ACT will continue the struggle for decent remuneration for teachers by campaigning for the upgrading of teachers to a minimum of Salary Grade 15,” ACT said.
Another teachers’ group, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a federation of public school teachers’ associations all over the country, called off last week a couple of activities they had scheduled to celebrate the event.
TDC canceled a big gathering of about 10,000 teachers at the Rizal Coliseum and a caravan rally they were planning to hold at the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to protest against the state workers fund’s alleged anti-public schoolteacher policies.
Meanwhile, militant teachers from Central Luzon celebrated the event with a demand for the upgrading of their salaries to about P25,000 monthly.
Fabian Hallig, secretary-general of ACT-CL, said public teachers want the upgrading of their pay from the current Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15.
He said that under the present salary grade the pay of the teachers range from 14,198 to P16,335, covering the first tranche of the four-year upgrading of their pay under Executive Order No. 811.
The demand of the teachers would be on top of their pay covered by EO 811, as Salary Grade 15’s salary range is from P24,887 to P26,868 monthly.
Hallig said the teachers are also demanding the “acceleration of full implementation of salary increases granted under Executive Order 811 in two years instead of four years.”
“We are also renewing our call for scrapping of anti-teacher policies and practices of the GSIS,” he stressed.
Teachers from various parts of Central Luzon yesterday held a forum at the Dau Elementary School in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT-Philippines National Council member Louie Zabala were guests. –Ding Cervantes. Read the original article here
Posted by Blogger at 12:52 AM