DEPUTY Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France L. Castro on Thursday said their group is disappointed by the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposal to grant additional benefits to teachers instead of a pay increase.
“Teachers in the public sector have been left behind by other professions with similar qualifications,” Ms. Castro said in a statement.
“It is only just that the government gives our teachers increases in their salaries,” she said, noting government’s lack of support in terms of overtime pay and provision of allowances for additional costs required under the blended learning system during the coronavirus pandemic.
She cited Section 15 of Republic Act 4670, or the Magna Carta for Public School teachers, which states that “‘Teachers’ salaries shall compare favorably with those paid in other occupations requiring equivalent or similar qualifications, training and abilities and that they shall be such as to insure teachers a reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families.”
Ms. Castro also said that the government needs to raise public school teachers’ salaries to set the standard for those teaching in private schools.
“For the longest time, the government has been denying public school teachers salary increases by pitting their salaries against teachers in the private sector, which is wrong because most private school teachers are paid at very low rates, even near-starvation salaries,” she said.
The ACT Teachers Party-list filed House Bill 203 which seeks to upgrade the salary grade of public school educators.
“These are part of our priority measures that reflect the demands of our teachers in both the public and private sector. We urge the House leadership to pass these bills into law,” Ms. Castro said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo