Teachers demand P10,000 pay hike
A group of public school teachers on Monday pushed for a P10,000 across the board increase for teachers and education workers.
Members of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, renewed their call to the government to legislate an increase in their salaries and benefits after the Aquino administration said it cannot grant salary increases both for private and public sector workers and employees.
TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said the last increase in salaries of teachers was through legislation enacted in 2009. He added the increase was under the Salary Standardization Law 3 and “granted the entry level position of government teachers an increase in total of P6, 523 divided in four tranches from year.”
The current administration, Basas explained, “only enforced what is mandated by law and just decreed the last two tranches thru executive orders, the latest adjustment in our salary that was signed by Pres. Aquino was in year 2012.” Since then, he added that “the government is seemingly reluctant to tackle the salary increase proposals for public school teachers and government employees.”
TDC also vowed to launch series of mass actions this May dubbed, “PROTEST DE MAYO,” a Santacruzan-inspired series of actions starting this week up to the resumption of classes in June. TDC will officially launch “Protest De Mayo” in front of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) office on Thursday, May 8. “We will launch and will march Sagala-style to Mendiola Bridge to protest government’s inaction on the demands of public school teachers,” Basas explained.
The TDC said they appreciate the proposals submitted by Senator Antonio Trillanes III in the Senate and the versions authored by Magdalo representatives in the lower house. “We appreciate the proposals from these lawmakers – that is only a proof that some government officials believe that teachers and government employees’ pay is insufficient for a dignified living,” said Basas. “The proposal opens the door for a wide discussion and that alone can be considered as an initial victory for us,” he added.
House Bill 4081 seeks to increase the entry-level salary of teachers from P18, 549 to P36, 567 or from Salary Grade 11 to 20. TDC, however, said “this may not be feasible considering the sheer number of public school teachers in the country which is now almost 600,000 and the government’s fiscal policy which refuses to prioritize public education and other social services.”