Solon calls on congress to immediately enact house bills to increase public sector pay

May 1, 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio

The Aquino Administration’s supposed “surprise” elicited no impressed comments among the labor sector and various labor groups. Various groups vehemently called on to Aquino to stop prioritizing big corporations and start recognizing the rights of workers to decent pay. Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Party-List expressed his solidarity with the fight of the working class and questioned the Aquino Administration’s continuous neglect of what the people are really clamoring for.

The fourth tranche of the salary increase under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) is scheduled to be implemented July of this year, a month earlier than what was originally planned.Workers under the Salary Grade 1 will experience an increase of P713/month or P23/day. Government nurses under SG 11 will have an additional P1450 increase in salary. Teachers’ salaries under Salary Grade 11 will increase from P17, 099 to P18, 549. Although this is part of what Filipino workers have been hoping for, this is a far cry from the P125 wage increase and the salary upgrading that the public has been demanding from the government. This “surprise” for the labor force amount only to loose change compared to the budget spent on military spending and debt servicing.

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The increase will be the last installment under the Salary Standardization Law. Unless Congress legislates a new increase, there will be no significant wage hikes for 2013 and beyond. Rep. Tinio called on all the sectors of the labor force to unite for the immediate legislation of the House Bills that will guarantee increase in salary for next year and the succeeding years.

Among the major House Bills currently being lobbied by ACT Teachers Party- List are HB 2142 and HB 4523, demanding for the upgrading of public school teachers from salary grade 11 to 15 and of public higher education teachers of State Universities and Colleges, respectively. Rep. Tinio is also lobbying for an additional P6,000 for public sector employees under HB 3746. Other bills supported by ACT Teachers PL include HB 5230 aiming to upgrade salary grade of government nurses from SG11 to SG15 and HB 5568 upgrading the salary grade of government doctors from SG 16 to SG24, currently being legislated by Rep. Casiño of Bayan Muna Party-List.

“There is an urgent need for the Congress to pass new legislations on salary increases to guarantee a wage hike for next year and the succeeding years. We must all make sure that public sector pay will not once again be left behind by the continually rising cost of living,” Rep. Tinio said.

During the time of Arroyo, there was no increase in wages from the year 2002 until 2007. There were no substantial hikes in terms of civilian public sector wages and benefits. The Aquino administration is no different with that of Arroyo, as the welfare of workers seems to be on the bottom part of Aquino’s priorities too.

“It is the power of public pressure and continuous campaigns for the House Bills on salary increase that will help us win in our fight for decent wages. The government is not giving what the public wants, what the people rightfully deserve. The Labor Day mobilization shall remind the current administration of their neglect to the rights of workers.” Rep. Tinio concluded.

Teachers from all over the country will march to Plaza Miranda for the Labor Day Mobilization. Unions, teacher-leaders, principals and personnel are geared to storm the streets tomorrow in support to the legislation of the house bills being lobbied and for the greater fight of workers all over the world.

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