By ACT (PR)
BAGUIO CITY — On November 4-6, 2016, 35 teacher-leaders from the 6 provinces of the Cordillera gathered at the Highland Villa for the Third Alliance of Concerned Teachers Regional Leadership Training Seminar and Assembly to develop militant, progressive and nationalist leadership among its members towards a stronger ACT-CAR Union that will more decisively address education and community issues in the region and contribute to the sectoral and national campaigns of ACT.
The training provided updates given by ACT-National Secretary-General Raymond Basilio on the situation of teachers and the corresponding actions of ACT in the field, within the DedEd and in Congress. These include the push for the release of the Performance-based Bonus by the Department of Budget and Management, lobby for reforms in the DepEd in the latest Dep-Ed/CHED/TESDA-sponsored National Education Summit and the re-filing of ACT bills that were not passed in the 17th Congress.
It also raised awareness of the teachers on issues of self-determination of the Cordillera peoples. ACT has a resolution to support a scientific, mass-oriented and nationalist education that shall promote and develop the Cordillera indigenous culture and support the Cordillera peoples struggle against development aggression. It also raised awareness on the ongoing Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as it launched the “ACT for Just and Lasting Peace Campaign” that forwarded its Education Agenda for the Talks and conducts education and information campaign on the issue.
In its Assembly, ACT-CAR counted its gains in the past four (4) years. Foremost here is the winning as fourth partylist of ACT Teachers in the region during the 2016 elections, the conduct of consultative assemblies and public sector unionism seminars in division, district and school levels in the region for expanding membership and towards the registration of ACT-CAR Union with the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Labor and Employment in 2014, and the conduct of continuous activities to push for a P25,000 minimum salary for teachers and for the suspension of the K to 12 program.
For its immediate program for the year 2017, ACT-CAR Union shall complete its accreditation as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent (SEBA) with DepEd-CAR so that it can proceed in drafting its Collective Negotiations Agreement for economic and democratic welfare of teachers in the region. It shall pursue its division/district and school hopping for the conduct of ACT and PSU orientations.
After its accreditation, ACT-CAR Union shall fight for the following 16-point concerns which will be included in the proposed Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) between the Union and the DepEd-CAR administration: Salary Upgrading, Higher Allowances (chalk, productivity, clothing, ADCOM, PERA, hardship, etc.), Rice subsidy and grocery allowance, Regularization of contractual & volunteer teachers, Free annual medical examination, Additional leave privileges, Implementation of the 6-hour maximum actual teaching hours, Regulation of class size and teaching load, Graduate study leave with pay, Fair and transparent hiring and promotion policies and implementation, Protection of teachers against unjust charges specially related RA 7610, Full enjoyment of GSIS benefits, Ensuring democratic grievance mechanisms at all levels, Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) incentive (at least P5,000), Representation in the policy making bodies and other committees at all levels, and adequate work place facilities for teachers.
Leading the elected officers as President is Mr. Remigio Tomas of Apayao who willingly accepted the challenge saying, we must “continue the struggle for teacher’s welfare and nation building…” Baguio ACT also elected its officers and laid out plans to facilitate the accreditation of ACT-CAR Union in the city. # nordis.net