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ACT Teachers push Salary Grade 15 for teachers, other reforms

3 May 2010 No Comment

30 October 2010 08:41:47 AM

Writer: Melissa M. Reyes, MRS-PRIB



The ACT Teachers’ Party-list is pushing for the upgrade of the salaries of some 500,000 public and 200,000 private school teachers nationwide to Salary Grade 15 (P24,887) in accordance with the guidelines set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).


“Given the teachers’ current salary scale at Grade 11 (P15,649), this certainly remains below government-declared decent living standards,” ACT Teachers’ Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said.


“Teachers’ entry level wages becomes even lower after deductions and high interest rates from loan sharks, who take advantage of them,” Tinio added.


School teachers’ net pay usually end up between P5,000 to P6,000 a month, according to cursory surveys.


“The lowest-paid professionals in the country, teachers are exploited, work long hours, handle oversized classes and are often deprived of benefits–even those mandated by law,” Tinio said.


“Thus, many choose to leave their profession to work overseas as nannies, caregivers and domestic helpers to earn a better living.”


Almost 80 percent of the teachers teach in elementary and secondary public schools, as well as in state universities and colleges. The rest are employed in private schools. As a whole, almost 80 percent of teachers are female.


The ACT Teachers’ is also pushing for other issues, such as the removal of the GSIS’ “unjust” and “predatory” Claims and Loan Interdependency Program (CLIP); transparency in the governance of fund agencies such as the GSIS, SSS, Philhealth, Housing, and other agencies;


Enforcement of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, in force since 1966, but which provisions are either violated or unenforced, requiring the need to strictly monitor its implementation, and enactment of a Magna Carta for Private School Teachers;


Reserve enough funds for the benefit of teachers and educational staff, and regularize its disbursement; and the right to form unions–which right teachers have not freely and fully exercised, particularly in the public sector.


The legal framework for this right is provided by Executive Order 180 (1987), which imposes significant obstacles to the formation of public school teachers’ unions and the right to strike despite that this right is recognized by the Constitution, Tinio said.





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