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Give teachers their deserved break and overtime pay! – Solon

Give teachers their deserved break and overtime pay!

Read the statement of Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro about the deserved break of teachers and the overtime pay during summer break.

“Teachers had to endure the 13-month-long pandemic school year with little to no support from the Department of Education and the Duterte administration. Since the end of the school year last July 10, teachers have still been busy with numerous and excessive paperworks to comply with the demands of the Department of Education’s Results-Based Performance Management System. Yesterday, the DepEd also launched the virtual kick off of the ‘Bridaga Eskwela’ as it prepares for the opening of classes on September 13,” Castro said.

“Sa paparating na isa nanamang enhanced community quarantine dahil sa banta ng Delta variant ng COVID-19, ang DepEd naman ay wala ring tigil sa pagpapatupad ng enhanced pahirap sa mga guro sa kabila ng kakulangan ng suportang ibinibigay sa pagtaguyod ng pandemic school year.”

“Hindi pa rin nailalabas ng DepEd na guidelines para sa service credit at overtime pay para sa nakaraang napakahabang taon, patuloy pa rin ang mga guro na nagseserbisyo, napapagod at minsan ay nagkakasakit pa para lamang maitawid ang mga nirerequire ng DepEd na dagdag na trabaho,” Castro added.

“Nasaan ang malasakit ng DepEd na bigyan ng sapat na panahon para sa kanilang pahinga o kaya naman ay sapat na kompensasyon sa serbisyong kanilang binibigay.”

“Kinailangan na ngang indain ng mga guro ang kawalan ng sick leave benefits, gumawa na siya ng sarili nilang paraan gamit ang pondo mula sa kakaunting natitira mula sa kakarampot na sweldo para makaagapay sa mga pangangailangan ng blended distance learning, kinuhaan pa sila ng panahon na dapat para sa kanyang bakasyon,” Castro stated.

“Teachers should be fairly compensated for the ‘lost leave benefits’ under the proportional vacation pay (PVP), with the last school year requiring them to work for thirteen months straight without a day of leave. And now with the excess paperworks and demands of ‘Brigada Eskwela,’ it is simply ‘inhumane’ and violative of teachers’ labor rights.”

“On top of the already heavy tasks amid the pandemic situation of checking of students’ grades, keeping master lists, creating lesson plans and instructional materials, teachers are heavily burdened by the reports they are required to submit under the RPMS, an assessment tool designed to squeeze state workers to perform beyond their capacities,” Castro lamented. “It forces them to fulfill the requirements beyond their working hours, eating away the time that should be reserved for them to take care of themselves and their families especially amid the worsening health situation in the country.”

“The long school year on top of the demands of the blended distance learning of the Department of Education are taking a toll on the mental and physical health of our public school teachers,” Castro said.

“We urge the DepEd to heed the demands of its stakeholders, the education frontliners. Simply reading posts of teachers on social media is not enough. The Duterte administration, through the Department of Education must ensure the welfare of our educators, especially now that the health and economic crisis continue to worsen due to the failed government response to the pandemic. Giving priority to teachers’ welfare will also show that the government truly prioritizes education continuity and the youth’s right to quality education.”

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