[From the web] Teachers press for implementation of six-hour workday nationwide -TDC

Teachers press for implementation of six-hour workday nationwide

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) again reminded the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue policy to implement the six-hour workday with uniformity. The TDC said that by next week, public schools will have its semestral break to give way for the school-based in-service trainings (INSET) of teachers.

“This is a very opportune time both for the teachers and the DepEd management to once and for all sit down, discuss the details of the policy and agree on its implementation by the second semester.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

As early as 2008, the CSC in a resolution has ordered the DepEd to release guidelines on the “Six-Hour Workday” or the requirement to stay in their school for only six hours, the two hours intended to accomplish other tasks incidental to normal teaching duties may be brought home or anywhere the teacher wants. However, the DepEd failed to implement the resolution despite the two subsequent issuances from Secretary Lapus in 2008 and 2009, DepEd Memorandum 291 and DeEd Order 16, respectively. Until now, many teachers are forced to stay in their respective school for 8 hours or more, even without classes or official functions. This issue has been a perennial problem in most schools and has always been the reason for conflicts in schools between teachers and administrators.

“While we recognize that some schools have their peculiarities, we believe that the default policy should be uniform and applicable to all schools and not just in Metro Manila and CALABARZON or in areas where teachers are brave enough to engage the management in dialogues or fight.” Basas added.

The TDC is looking at the model of DepEd CALABARZON to be used nationwide. Last month, at the height of the TDC’s protest that lead to a two-week picket in front of DepEd Central Office in Pasig City, DepEd CALABARZON regional director Dr. Diosdado San Antonio called for a meeting-consultation with the teacher-leaders of the region and came up with a solution.

“The TDC-CALABARZON proposed measures to ensure the proper implementation of Six-Hour Workday. First, require the principals to submit a written declaration that they are compliant, in case of complaint, the same document can be used against them for administrative cases. Second, stop the requirements for the submission of means of verification (MOVs) for the two hours rendered outside the school premises.” Said Ritchie Salubre, a teacher in Dasmarinas City and president of TDC CALABARZON.

After the meeting, Salubre said that the regional office adopted their proposals and now contained in Regional Memorandum 550, s. 2018 released by San Antonio on September 20, 2018.

“But still, some schools are not compliant with the recent order. In this instance, the DepEd must show its sincerity and firm resolve to punish those who are defiant to its policy. Surely, this will make a big difference in an effort to enhance the teachers’ rights and welfare.” Salubre added.

The nationwide implementation of the six-hour workday is one of the Seven Demands presented by the TDC to Sec. Leonor Briones, the reason why the national teachers’ month was transformed into a month of protests that include mass actions and a campout in DepEd office from September 24 to October 5.

In a statement dated September 24 the DepEd said,

“Due to the continuing clamor to strictly implement the six-hour workday for teachers, DepEd will release a DepEd Memorandum (DM) reiterating provisions stated in DM No. 291 s. 2008 and DepEd Order (DO) No. 16, s. 2009, with specific instructions that:

• Teachers who choose to render the remaining two hours of work outside the school premises must not be subjected to salary deductions

• Teachers should not be required to submit means of verification (MOVs) as proof of services completed during the remaining two hours of work rendered outside the school premises.

The said DM will also direct key offices to monitor the strict and uniform execution of this policy.”

“The best thing for DepEd to do is to implement this policy nationwide and the best time to do this is now.” Basas ended.

TDC vowed to continue its protests until the DepEd decides to adopt policies in response to their Seven Demands. #

For details:
Benjo Basas
TDC National Chairperson

Ritchie Salubre

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