Pay hike for government workers not enough â teachers
The group also warned that an across-the-board 10 percent increase would still follow what it described as “inequitable framework” of the salary standardization law.

Pay hike for government workers not enough — teachers

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - August 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The estimated 10 percent salary hike that government workers may receive next year will not be enough to offset the impact of high inflation and new taxes imposed by the government, according to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio said the proposed P31 billion allotted for the salary increase of some 1.2 million government workers next year is not enough to provide for a substantial salary increase.

“A meager 10 percent pay raise is not what President Duterte promised us. ‘A little bit bigger than before’ as the President put it in his last State of the Nation Address does not mean it’s better and sufficient,” said Basilio in a statement yesterday.

“Such will neither give due recognition to the significant work teachers and other rank-and-file employees do nor will it ‘tide us over’ in this economy,” he added.

Basilio said the estimates provided by Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado would only give entry-level public school teachers a “paltry” P2,075 per month, less than the P2,592 pay rise granted by former president Fidel Ramos when the inflation reached 5.1 percent in 1997.

He noted that the proposed 2020 increase will not be enough to cover workers’ eroded salaries, stressing that the inflation soared to 5.2 percent in 2018.

The group also warned that an across-the-board 10 percent increase would still follow what it described as “inequitable framework” of the salary standardization law.

 “A dramatic increase in the pay of civilian rank-and-file employees would serve as a stop-gap measure in the ever widening gap between the salaries of ordinary employees—which make up the overwhelming majority of public sector workers—and that of top officials,” Basilio said.

“Not to mention the unfair doubling of uniformed personnel’s pay which further distorted the government’s salary scheme,” he added.

The ACT also expressed disappointment over the proposed increase as it is less than half of the P64 billion allocated last year for the salary increase of some 300,000 uniformed personnel.

 “It’s unfortunate that the Duterte government would rather fund its machinery for war and fascism than its machinery for the delivery of social services,” said Basilio.

The group challenged the administration to support pending bills in Congress that would provide a substantial salary increase for teachers, including those that will raise the pay of entry-level teachers to at least P30,000 per month from the current P20,000.

 “These bills are a product of the successful exposition of the lamentable economic conditions of teachers and other civilian government employees,” said Basilio.

“We have made our just demands heard through protests, lobbying and dialogues despite the increasingly repressive measures imposed by the state against unionists such us ourselves. And we can assure President Duterte that more of such will transpire should they continue to deny us a chance at a decent life,” he added.

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