Upgrade, not just split, teachers’ salaries
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers(ACT) released its statement on splitting the release of teachers salary, read it below.
As the Department of Education (DepEd) announces its plan to release teachers’ pay every 15th and 30th of the month, instead of only every 21st, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines urged the department to now work on the ‘real issue’ of measly pay among teachers by upgrading their salaries.
The group reiterated their request for the government to ‘correct’ teachers’ pay by raising it from salary grade 11 to salary grade 15.
“Splitting the release of our salaries does little to help teachers as it doesn’t resolve the age-old issue of poor pay among grappling educators that have long denied them decent standards of living and due recognition for their contribution to national development. Teachers remain to be the lowest paid professional in the country. It’s time to address this injustice,” called ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
DepEd Usec. for finance Annalyn Sevilla cited the effort to be part of helping teachers in their ‘personal financial management’ and keep them from being ‘compelled to take out loans.’ ACT argues, however, that at the root of these issues is the low salaries that are not commensurate to the needs of teachers and their families and to the indispensable role of teachers in delivering education to millions of youth.
“Teachers’ economic hardships stem from the very basic problem of low salaries. It’s well-known how teachers struggle to feed their families and shoulder the costs of education even before the pandemic hit. They have long suffered the effects of poor support from the government and rising prices of goods and commodities, which only worsened amid the health and socio-economic crises. These are what compels them to turn to debts. Hindi ito masasagot ng simpleng kinsenas na pasweldo. Ang pangako sa amin dobleng sweldo, ang ibibigay sa amin dalawang bigayan ng sweldo? Para naman kaming sina-scam ng gobyernong Duterte,” criticized Basilio.
Among President Duterte’s campaign promises were to double teachers’ salaries, which he repeated several times after being elected in office. However, only cops and soldiers’ pay were doubled to at least Php29,668 while teachers were only given around Php1,500 annual increase through the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) V. Nurses, on the other hand, received a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court in 2019 which raised their entry-level pay to salary grade 15—coming to a monthly Php 33,575 in 2021. These effectively left teachers behind as they only receive Php23,877 in salaries per month in 2021.
“With DepEd’s acknowledgment that teachers in fact struggle financially, we urge them to join us in demanding for the long overdue pay hike for nearly a million of its employees. Teachers deserve decent pay. We call on the government to finally upgrade teachers’ salaries to salary grade 15,” Basilio pressed