Group to DOLE: Show compassion, suspend ‘no work, no pay’ policy during health break

After several localities and education institutions announced the suspension of classes, a group on Monday, Jan. 17, urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to show “compassion” by ordering a halt on the implementation of “No Work, No Pay” policy throughout the declared academic health breaks.

(Photo from Unsplash)

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Private Schools said suspending the said policy would help the vulnerable group of probationary teachers and contractual employees --- both in public and private schools.

ACT Private Schools Secretary-General Dr. Jonathan Geronimo said that local government units (LGUs) and school administrators heeded the calls to suspend classes and ease up work in light of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surge.


While this is a welcome development, Geronimo said that it is “crucial” that the employees are given the assurance that they will continue to be compensated even during the said break.

This, he added, is because the majority also suffer from “reduced workloads and a paycheck system that heavily depends on their rendered reporting hours.”

Geronimo pointed out that without the suspension of the policy, many teachers and employees will suffer huge cuts from their salaries which can significantly impact their financial ability to afford necessary goods such as food and medicine and even medical services should they suddenly develop mild to severe symptoms because of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“Even home quarantine and self-isolation also cause additional burden to their expenses,” he said.

Geronimo also noted that the uncertainties of the pandemic --- coupled with mounting expenses with little to no assistance from the government --- left the public even more anxious.

“The health break—a result of the growing number of sick teachers, staff, and students—should allow us to surmount the health crisis that has now seeped into our own homes,” he said.

“We need continuous income to afford health care that otherwise will not be provided by this government,” he added.

Geronimo also noted that the current situation exposes and emphasizes the need for the government to ramp up its pandemic response by implementing mass testing, free treatment, improving access to vaccines, and provision of sufficient aid.

The groups claimed that its demand is “just and fair” --- not only to the personnel but also to their employers.

Private schools, the group said, will “not incur losses” if they will pay the salaries of contractual employees for the duration of the implementation of academic health breaks because school fees are computed and paid at semestral or yearly rates.

Geronimo also emphasized that it is “only right and fitting” to extend the same request for those affected contractual employees and part-time faculty members in state universities and colleges that will implement similar health breaks as the “No Work, No Pay” scheme is applied not only in private schools.

Given this, the group also enjoined the public to press DOLE “not only to take a notice on this issue but also to take decisive actions as this will help mitigate the economic crisis being experienced by many education personnel particularly in the private sector.”