By EDGAR MELCHOR P. LAIGO
BAGUIO CITY — The Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage)-Cordillera will hold a Government Employees’ Forum on June 15 to discuss wages and the issues or problems confronting them and the wider populace.
The regional forum means to unite the worker’s view on just wages, and to push support for their campaign on the P6,000 increase on the minimum pay.
“Malacañang has stubbornly refused to heed the call of the employees and workers for wage hikes despite nationwide appeal,’’ Courage-CAR Regional Coordinator Maria Josephine Perez said.
In connection with Malacañang’s pronouncements that the employees cannot expect any salary hike other than what they are supposed to receive in June, Perez explained.
“We have already said that the salary adjustment under the Salary Standardization Law 3 to be effected this June is too small to make a difference. In fact, even if the remaining adjustments for 2012 under the SSL 3 is released this year, this will only mean a new minimum pay of P9,000. This is not even half of the P29,000 needed monthly cost of living. As it is, the employees have yet to receive the increase and the amount has already been lost to inflation.” Perez said.
Courage-Cordillera said that the minimum pay in the public sector currently stands at P7,510 excluding the mandatory deductions.
Perez also added the P6,000 increase in the minimum pay is a new demand borne out of employees’ criticism of the SSL 3 which effectively raised the salaries of those occupying the higher positions and government officials but not the rank and file whose salaries have remained pegged at starvation levels.
“With the recent spate of price increases, most of the country’s 1.4 million government employees are living in abject poverty. They are easy prey to loan sharks and barely could make it to work the next day.”
“Thus, employees and workers have no other recourse but to unite and strengthen their ranks, persist in their struggle for job security and the recognition of their democratic rights, and continue pushing for a substantial wage increase,” Perez concluded.
The Forum which will be held at the Multipurpose Hall of the Baguio City Hall carries the theme Makabuluhang Dagdag Sahod, Ipaglaban! Presyo Ibaba, Ngayon Na! It will be jointly sponsored by the Association of City Employees of Baguio (ACE). # nordis.net