Group pushes for adjustment to teachers’ salaries

A group of education workers on Sunday, Nov. 27, once again pushed for the adjustment to the salaries of teachers.

(Photo courtesy of ACT Philippines)

“We demand for a four-grade adjustment to teachers’ salaries, starting from the upgrading of Teacher I positions from salary grade 11 to salary grade 15, for their pay to be at par with those of other professionals with comparable qualifications such as the uniformed personnel and nurses,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Chairperson Vladimer Quetua.

ACT also reacted to the statement of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that government workers are assured of a pay increase in 2023 as mandated by the Salary Standardization Law V (SSL V).

For ACT, the said salary adjustment is “worthless” because it only “managed to add a real value of P4.85 in the government workers’ daily minimum wage from 2018 to 2022” based on the group’s computations.

ACT also alleged that the government is the “number one violator” of the set minimum wage.

The group said that while private sector workers in Metro Manila are mandated to receive a daily minimum wage of P570 or P14,820 per month, salary grade I government (SG I) employees “now only receive P12,517 monthly.” ACT noted that the set increase to P13,000 in 2023 “still falls short” of the minimum wage in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“While our rank-and-file government employees and professionals receive salaries below liveable levels, salaries of top officials scandalously swelled at P200,000 to more than P400,000 per month,” Quetua said.

“Our government is shameless in promoting and implementing unjust salary schemes in its own backyard,” he added.

Quetua said that their demand for a P33,000 minimum salary for SG I government employees is an “assertion of our right to live” based on the government’s data on a family living wage.

The group pointed out that for more than three decades, the government has used salary standardization laws to “depress the salaries of rank-and-file employees and bloat those of top officials.”

“It has promoted an unfair salary scheme anchored on the exploitative wage system in the private sector and further distorted by patronage politics,” Quetua said. “Moreover, we are made to take what is left of the public funds after being ravaged by bureaucratic corruption,” he added.