77 days overtime pay for teachers has ‘moral, legal grounds’ — group

Published October 15, 2021, 9:15 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Despite the “denial” coming from the Department of Education (DepEd), a group of education workers on Friday, Oct. 15, asserted that its call for 77 days of overtime pay has “legal and moral grounds.”

(Photo from ACT Philippines)

“Teachers have responded to the exigencies of the service amid the pandemic and worsening economic crisis, while DepEd together with the rest of the Duterte admin slacked and lied their way through the school year,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

ACT slammed DepEd for its “underhanded bid” to backpedal on their own computations of the overtime rendered by teachers in school year 2020–2021 which the agency presented to be “no less than 87 days” as well as commitment to compensate teachers for such, during the multi-agency dialogue it had with ACT, the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and ACT Teachers Partylist last June 24.

READ:

What overtime pay? DepEd says teachers’ work in excess of class days not counted as ‘overtime’

“We have on record DepEd’s statements recognizing that teachers, in fact, rendered overtime in the last school year and that the agency will work to ensure that such will be properly compensated through service credits and/or additional pay,” Basilio said.

This, Basilio said, came after ACT presented prior to and during the dialogue the legal bases and detailed computation of the 77 excess workdays of teachers.

“It’s a shame that despite our best efforts for civil dialogues and proper accounting of our demands, DepEd still wasn’t able to deliver on commitments they have made to teachers and other relevant stakeholders,” Basilio said.

“Either that or a stronger—you can say ‘iron fist’—force was behind this backpedaling, or both,” he added.

ACT alleged that it was DepEd who proposed that teachers rendered ‘no less than 87 days’ of overtime in the last school year, instead of the group’s computation of 77 days from April 6 to July 10, 2021.

During the June 24 dialogue, ACT said that the DepEd countered that it should be the period before the official start of classes—June 1 to Oct. 3, 2020—that should be considered as overtime, amounting to 87 days.

ACT has since called on the agency to deliver on the compensation for the said overtime.

Meanwhile, as early as April 2020, ACT has written to DepEd and CSC on the 77 days of teachers’ excess workdays in the last school year. The group noted that RA 7797 states that the maximum number of class days shall be 220 days; however, teachers were officially ordered to render services for a total of 297 days for SY 2020–2021—which ran from June 1, 2020.

READ:

Teachers were ‘not deprived’ of vacation despite lengthened school year — DepEd

The group furthered that the official orders on the work days of teachers released by DepEd serve as the first set of legal basis for their claim that teachers worked an excess of 77 days in the last school year.

“It was DepEd who officially ordered that teachers not only work non-stop for 13 months but to also include Saturdays as workdays,” Basilio said.

“It’s not rocket science to see that such would inevitably amount to excess workdays, way beyond what is allowable by law aka RA 7797, which consequently equals overtime pay—a compensation distinct from regular payment for regular hours,” he added.

Citing the 2008 memorandum which provided for the granting of “overtime pay,” but if funds were unavailable, 1.25 hours of service credits shall be granted for every hour of overtime work.

ACT, however, noted the need to amend the said memorandum, which only covered overtime work rendered within school premises, to account for the present pandemic which required agencies to adopt alternative work arrangements including the work-from-home setup.

RELATED STORY:

DepEd issues computation of public school teachers' proportional vacation pay for SY 2020-2021

 
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