Teacher solon presses for public school teachers sick leave benefits
Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro presses for public school teachers’ sick leave benefits and convinced Congress to immediately table House Bill 5349, An Act Providing Sick Leave Benefits of Thirty Days per year for Public School Teachers.
“Public school teachers at present are not given sick leave benefits because current rules and regulations do not afford them this leave privilege. Public school teachers have long been complaining of not being afforded sick leave benefits within the school year because they are allegedly already covered by the leave benefits granted to those on ‘teachers leave basis,’ namely, service credits and the Proportional Vacation Pay (PVP),” Castro said. “It is high time that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we heed the calls of public school teachers and amend the existing laws to provide teachers protection against health complications.”
“With the current laws, rules and regulations, it is as if public school teachers can choose to only get sick during the summer breaks and are expected to simply ‘bear it’ during the school year. Moreover, teachers suffer deductions in their salaries if they choose to absent themselves from class,” Castro added. “House Bill 5349 provides public school teachers sick leave benefits of thirty days per year. Public school teachers deserve sick leave benefits especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“As we continue the battle against COVID-19 and as the government prepare for the start of the next school year, teachers fear for their safety from contracting the virus. We are still waiting for the Department of Education to implement clear and comprehensive guidelines and safety measures to be placed in schools. Providing public school teachers sick leave benefits is a step towards protecting public school teachers in this time of a health crisis,” Castro stated. “We have filed and proposed measures to help teachers ensure health safety such as the free medical examination and treatment for public school teachers as mandated in the provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School teachers. Now is the time that the Department of Education impose all these health and safety measures and provide these benefits to their frontliners in education.”
“We urge the House Leadership to urgently hear and pass the bill providing sick leave benefits for public school teachers. The passage of this bill is a step towards protecting our teachers especially during this time of a pandemic,” Castro ended.
Source: Act Teachers Party-List