By WENDY ATUBAN
BAGUIO CITY — Representing 500,000 public school teachers nationwide, Professor Antonio Tinio, Alliance of Concerned Teachers president, reiterated the call for a 9,000-peso salary increase over a period of three years during the National Leadership Training and Seminar here on May 29-31.
Tinio said teachers have become poorer and their situation more difficult under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration. He explained this as due to the absence of salary increase of teachers in six years from 2001-2006.
In a position paper ACT deemed Joint Resolution No. 36 under Committee Report i992 also known as the Salary Standardization Law (SLL3) proposed by Malacañang and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as unacceptable.
According to ACT, the wage hike proposed under said joint resolution falls short of the 9000-peso salary upgrade that teachers demand.
Under said resolution, a new teacher’s entry level status is merely at salary grade 11 (P18,549) which will be implemented in four yearly tranches.
ACT claim this amount is just a little bit higher than the salary grade 10 offered for a teacher I position, equivalent to a mere P6,523 increase in four years or P1,630.75 annually. This translates to 54% increase in four years.
ACT added this is small compared with the 74% increase in three years that teachers have been asking for.
“More importantly, the proposed salary grade 11 (P18,549) under Joint Resolution No.36 under Committee Report 1992 or SSL3 will not even push a teacher’s salary to a rate that complies with or is at least comparable with a living wage/monthly cost of living pegged at P21,390 (national average), a rate that continuous to soar almost everyday,” the paper claimed.
Also, the position paper bared that said proposal goes against two particular provisions in the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670) which sets the criteria for a teacher’s salary: firstly, it must ensure teachers a reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families and secondly, it should compare favorably with those paid in other occupations requiring equivalent or similar qualifications, training and abilities.
ACT also said the proposed Joint resolution “maintains and worsens the lack of social justice and equity in the system of compensation and classification.”
Under said proposal , those under the Sub-professional level (salary grade 1-9) will receive only 28%-36% increase, while those in the professional level (SG 10-24) will receive 38%-i00% increase, and those in the executive category will have more than 71%-142% increase.
ACT ask, “Why teachers be one salary grade higher only from grade 10…? and “Why would nurses be downgraded by four salary grades from the original SG 15 while barangay councilors and captains will eventually be raised to SG 10 and SG 14 respectively?”
ACT claimed said resolution will maintain and worsen the salary grade distortion. ACT said, “the government shoddily and cheaply treats a majority of government employees, including 500,000 public school teachers who are in the front line of public service, condemning them to a status which is below poverty level….”
“Joint resolution No.36 under Committee Report i992 or SLL3 will only further widen the gap between the low wages of rank-and-file employees on the one hand, and the sumptuous income and privilege of government officials on the other,” ACT added.
Tinio said the Arroyo administration has three legacies on the education sector. He then identified the legacies as” increased number of out-of-school youth, low quality of education, and low quality of teaching. “
“All these,” he said, “may be rooted in the inadequate [education] budget.”
“Kapus ang budget na inilaan compared sa actual na pangangailangan,” (The budget is wanting compared to the actual needs) he added. # nordis.net