[From the web] Assistance to private school teachers sought -Ating Guro

NEWS RELEASE
April 28, 2020

Assistance to private school teachers sought

With the further extension to the extended quarantine community in most of Luzon resulting to work stoppage of almost the entire working population, teachers from private schools are among those who were badly hit by the eventual crisis. Thus, ATING GURO, a group of education and teachers’ rights advocates sought the help of both school owners and the government.

“Most of the teachers in private schools as hired thru contracts. They are among those who considered as ‘no work, no pay’ workers and they need help both from the government and their employers to be able to survive this crisis.” Said JR Dona, the group’s secretary-general and a teacher in St. Scholastica’s grade school in Manila.

On its part, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said the crisis has exposed the evil scheme used in hiring teachers as well as their conditions. “The practice of contractualizatrion is rampant in schools run by private businesses. Teachers do not enjoy the security of tenure and the right to self-organization. In some cases, even the minimum wage policy has not complied.” Said Benjo Basas, the TDC national chairperson.

Both groups called on the government specifically the Labor and Education departments to step in and ensure that teachers who lose their jobs will get assistance from the government and from their employers.

“Teachers who are continually hired in private schools for more than a year should not be subjected to the ‘no work, no pay’ scheme for they should be considered as permanent employees and should at least be given assistance by their employers,” Dona added in reaction to the reports that even some teachers who have been hired in their schools for several years will not receive pay during the lockdown period. “They were forced by the situation. Clearly, it’s not their fault.” Dona added.

The situation, according to ATING GURO is even worse for those whose contracts have ended by the supposed end of the school last March. “Teachers are now displaced and may not find jobs until the next school year opens by August or September or even beyond,” Dona said.

Earlier the DepEd says it considers school opening by the end of August, while the IATF recommends resumption by September. The UP Resilient Institute, on the other hand, proposes the class opening after December of this year.

Both groups asserted that private school teachers should automatically be included in the government’s assistance programs like the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and the DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP). They will lobby for this in the IATF.

For details:
JR Dona, Ating Guro Secretary-General 0965-5470700
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson 09273356375

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