Teachers demand salary hike and other benefits
“We are ready for the resumption of classes today and we are as excited as our students who anticipate that we will provide their learning needs today and the rest of the school year. However, we are still asking the DepEd and the entire government to provide the needs of our teachers as well.” Stated Caloocan City teacher and national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).
Basas added that the supposed summer vacation last April and May were consumed for other tasks like election duties, school-based trainings and the recently concluded Brigada Eskwela that they practically had no vacation at all. According to him, these are some of the reasons why teaching is considered a selfless profession and thus deserves to be given the attention and support of the government.
“We believe that we deserve a better compensation than what we are receiving. Also, we have laws that guarantee the benefits and incentives for teachers to give life to the provision of constitution which mandates the state to ensure that teaching will attract the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other incentives that will make our teachers satisfied and fulfilled.” Basas added.
The group has just launched the National Signature Campaign for P10, 000 Across-the-Board Teachers’ Salary Increase which intended to gather 500, 000 signatures from public school teachers and DepEd employees nationwide. They plan to present the signatures to the president before the opening of the Congressional session next month. The salary increase, according to Basas is one of the campaign promises of President Duterte.
Aside from the ‘long overdue’ salary increase, the teachers also took swipe at what they called DepEd’s failure to implement the provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, a 1966 vintage law that ensures sufficient salary and incentive package to our public school teachers. “The DepEd is tasked to implement the law and ask the Congress for its budgetary requirements. Yet for some 52 years, the agency has failed to fully implement the provisions of the law.” Basas exclaimed.
As early as February this year, the TDC has formally asked the DepEd leadership to discuss several provisions of Magna Carta so that the needed allocation will be considered for fiscal year 2010. The TDC said that the overtime pay, special hardship allowances, annual medical examination, hospitalization and compensation for injuries, paid study leave and salary increase upon retirement were either poorly implemented or not implemented at all.
“Our demand for salary increases is not solely intended for us and to our families, because a fair treatment and a just compensation for our teachers would redound to a more effective education delivery and would ensure the proper training of our children to become productive citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the governments misses its obligation to the most important factor of education- the teachers.” Basas ended.
Benjo Basas, TDC Chair, 0927-3356375/ 0999-9744612
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