Group reiterates call for pay hike amid career progression bills filed for teachers

A teachers’ group welcomed several bills on career progression that have been filed before the House of Representatives and are due for a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 23.


The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), in a statement, expressed full support for House Bill (HB) 1580 authored by representatives Jude Acidre and Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and HB 3554 sponsored by Hon. Ralph Recto.

TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that the proposals seek to provide a wider range of positions for teachers in public schools from the current Teacher 1 to III and Master Teacher I to IV to Teacher I-VII and Master Teacher I to V, respectively.

However, Basas also raised the main concern of teachers on their low salaries due to decades-old policies.

“Public school teachers have long endured low salaries,” Basas said.

He noted that in 1989, during the time of former President Cory Aquino, teachers' salaries were tied to the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), a generic law that covers almost all civilian government employees.

“This, despite the provision of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a special law that provides the rights and well-being of teachers,” he said.

Basas explained that among the stipulations of the Magna Carta law are some provisions on the monetary benefits of teachers such as criteria for salaries, gradual progression using regular increments, cost of living allowance, overtime pay, and special hardship allowances.

“Unfortunately, all the aforementioned provisions have not been implemented since the year 1966,” he added.

Related to this, TDC slammed SSL 1 or RA 6758 for the “poor categorization” of the entry-level position of teachers.

Basas noted that based on the said law, Teacher I is scheduled at Salary Grade 10, the lowest position of government professionals, and only had an adjustment in the year 2009 when Congress passed Joint Resolution No. 4 and raise Teacher I to SG 11.

The TDC, however, said their salaries remain the lowest in government service.

“From 1989 up to the present, there have been five SSLs under seven presidents but the salary of public teachers remains at the bottom,” Basas said.

“This, despite the increase in the salaries of the entry-level position of military and uniformed personnel and even that of government nurses,” he added.