Teachers Demand for Decent Salary, Gear Up for ‘People’s SONA’

The provisions of the Salary Standardization Law is also not being implemented thoroughly in public schools. As prescribed by the law, a P300-increase ($6.78) should be given to teachers after every 3 years of their service. This, says ACT, is not even enough. Worse, reports show that teachers have to apply and present to Department of Education (DepEd) their qualifications before they can get the supposed automatic salary increase.

They are also having problems with the Government Security and Insurance System’s (GSIS) service record, which has not been updated. There are reported cases wherein the salaries of teachers who have fully paid for their loans still reflect deductions for loan payments. Even retired teachers are not spared from the GSIS’s “flawed system.” In 2006, a retired teacher suffered a heart attack at the GSIS office in Lucena City upon learning that she would not be getting her pension because her E-Card had not been activated. She died afterwards.

Salary Increase

Among professionals, teachers receive the lowest monthly salary. Teachers are now “among the ranks of the poor”, relates Antonio Tinio, ACT chairperson.

Thus, ACT’s effort towards alleviating teachers from their dire state centers on the demand for a P9,000 ($203.48) salary increase. This means that their monthly salary should amount to P19,579 ($442.66), an amount “necessary to preserve the dignity of the teaching profession and bring it closer to the rising cost of living.” The current salary of teachers “barely keeps them above the poverty line,” adds Tinio. The demand aims to upgrade teachers from Salary Grade 10 to Salary Grade 20 of the Salary
Standardization Law.

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