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Teachers’ representative calls for salary increase, end to teacher contractualization on Labor Day

1 May 2011 No Comment

Hundreds of public school teachers will storm the streets today together with other sectors of society to call for substantial salary increases for government employees and job security amid onerous price hikes and massive contractualization, in commemoration of International Workers’ Day.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio expressed his solidarity with the fight of the working class and
criticized the Aquino administration’s insensitivity to the economic hardships of citizens, including teachers.

“The meager salary of an entry level teacher amounting to Php 15,649 per month falls short of the monthly cost of living for a family of six. Based on government figures, this currently stands at Php 21,736 in the National Capital Region. The gap is even wider for entry-level government employees, who earn a mere Php 7,575 monthly. Meanwhile, during the first nine months of Aquino’s term, there have been rampant price hikes in oil, transportation, and basic commodities such as food
which add to the already burdensome situation of public sector workers,” Tinio said.

Tinio called on Pres. Aquino to include bills proposing salary increases for workers in the public and private sector in his
administration’s list of priority legislation. These include House Bills 2142 and 4523, upgrading the salaries of teachers in public schools and state universities and colleges, respectively, which were both filed by ACT Teachers, and House Bill 3746, enacting a Php 6,000 increase in the minimum pay of government employees.

Tinio also expressed support for a legislated Php 125 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in the private sector.

The ACT Teachers representative also raised the issue of the ongoing massive contractualization of kindergarten teachers as the Department of Education prepares to implement a Universal Kindergarten program by June. The DepEd is set to employ up to 30,000 kindergarten teachers on a contractual basis, to be payed a maximum of Php 6,000 monthly. “This is an all-out assault on the teaching profession, particularly on the rights of teachers to decent compensation and security of tenure,” said Tinio.

He noted that contractual kindergarten teachers already in service for the current school year have not been paid by the DepEd since January. “This is an unconscionable and inhuman violation of their basic rights. What further proof do we need to show that teachers will be grievously exploited through contractualization?”

Tinio called for the immediate payment of their back salaries and for the regularization of all contractual kindergarten teachers.

“This is clear manifestation of Aquino’s indifference to the needs of his people. Teachers are enraged, as well as the thousands of workers whose legitimate calls for just compensation and substantial wage increase remains unheard by the government for decades,” Tinio said.

The party-list representative said that he would march with teachers and other workers in the protests scheduled for May 1. “Teachers will remind the Aquino administration that the rights of working people to jobs and decent pay must come first.” #

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