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Teachers’ solon condemns anti-labor Aquino

2 May 2013 One Comment

30 April 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

“Once again, President Aquino displayed his expertise in enraging workers on their special day,” said ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio, on the Presidential announcement that workers cannot expect any wage hike on Labor Day.
“The anti-labor character of this President, whose wage policies for both private and public sectors have dragged workers deeper into poverty, is getting clearer every day,” said the progressive legislator.
Tinio slammed in particular Aquino’s planned imposition nationwide of CALABARZON’s Two-Tiered Wage System that would dump the minimum-wage system in favor of a “floor wage” and “productivity incentives.”
“Aquino’s ‘floor wage’ is more like a ‘basement wage’–it is lower than the present minimum wage,” Tinio explained.  “It would spell greater exploitation for labor but, surely, higher profits for the capitalist.”
Tinio, who represents teaching and non-teaching education workers in the Lower House, also criticized Aquino’s Performance-Based Incentive System for state workers.  Aquino’s pronouncements related to PBIS indicate that he wants to veer away from across-the-board salary increases and instead give Performance-Based Bonuses (PBB) to purportedly enhance government services.  Its implications include, however, a ban on new bonuses or any increase in existing ones.  For Department of Education, this also means that the bonus of teachers and other personnel will depend on factors over which they have no control, like drop-out rates.
“We also believe that PBB is designed to pave the way for the relaxation or total abolition of salary standardization for state workers, much like what Aquino has planned for the private sector,” worried Tinio, “especially considering that he is allergic to unions and collective negotiation.”
Since 2012, Aquino removed the budgetary item for incentives and other monetary benefits due under collective negotiation agreements, a move which greatly undermines unions of government employees.
In addition to the demand for salary and wage increases in lieu of these policies, Tinio also urges tax relief to enable workers and employees higher take-home pay.  He is author of House Bill 5661 which aims to increase tax exempt bonuses to P60,000 (from P30,000).  He also filed HB 6723 which would raise the basic personal exemption to P75,000 and P40,000 per dependent (from P50,000 to P25,000, respectively).  ##