A group of education workers urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to suspend the implementation of the twice a month salary scheme noting that it brings more harm than good.
“To put it simply, the new salary scheme is more trouble than it’s worth,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Secretary-General Raymond Basilio in a statement issued Thursday, Jan. 20.
ACT called on DepEd to suspend the implementation of the twice a month salary scheme which the group alleged “did not go through consultations with teachers’ accredited unions.”
“None of our accredited and registered unions in 16 regions have been consulted as regards DepEd’s plan to release teachers’ salaries on a twice a month basis, nor have teachers’ representatives been given a chance to be heard,” Basilio said.
Basilio said that DepEd skipped a “basic democratic process” before implementing changes to employment-related matters.
“They by-passed this and now teachers are raising issues with the new policy,” he said. “Before going any further, we urge DepEd to suspend its implementation and meet us in a dialogue,” Basilio added.
Citing reports on the ground, ACT said that information on its implementation varies across regions and divisions.
“In some areas, the 15/30 scheme is already being implemented, while in others, the old once a month pay release is still in effect; partly due to conflicting reports on whether the policy is a go or no-go,” ACT said.
However, ACT said that as soon as DepEd announced that the policy is targeted to be implemented in January 2022, many teachers have already raised concerns.
Some of the issues raised by teachers include bigger bank charges per month due to the twice a month withdrawal and the effect on the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA).
ACT said the some teachers are also asking about implication of the said scheme to loan deductions that go through the already problematic DepEd automatic payroll deduction system (APDS) ans the added workload to education support personnel who prepare the payrolls, among others.
“The biggest issue raised is the move’s uselessness in the face of the inadequacy of teachers’ pay, with many saying that their monthly take home pay now only amounts to P5,000,” ACT said.
Instead of changing the salary scheme, ACT urged DepEd to focus on raising the salaries of teachers instead.
“At the end of the day, the real issue is the meager salaries given to public school teachers, which the quincenas pay does nothing to address,” Basilio said.
ACT also reminded the campaign promise of President Duterte “to double our salary” of teachers — not its release.
The group maintained that the DepEd should focus on working with teachers in attaining the much-needed upgrading of education workers’ salaries to “truly begin to address the economic woes of its personnel.”
ACT has been calling for the upgrading of teachers’ pay from salary Grade 11 to Grade 15.
The group also demanded a dialogue with the agency to air concerns about the 15/30 pay scheme as well as to register their long-standing call for salary upgrading.