STATE teachers on Friday said they were not happy with the “insulting” increase in their salaries under the Salary Standardization Law of 2015 as they faced another bleak year with their year-end bonuses still hanging.
“What the government prepared as holiday present to us is the insulting salary package under SSL 2015 which is about to grant a 528-peso monthly increase in our salaries,” Benjo Basas of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said in a statement.
His group also said that government employees and teachers would have been appreciative if Malacañang had granted them just compensation.
“More than a one-time incentive, we need compensation that would be commensurate to our role as public educators,” Basas said.
“For the longest time, we have been pushing for a 10,000-peso across-the-board increase.”
Basas made his statement even as Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Friday pushed for a reasonable salary increase for low-level and middle-level employees, especially state workers, as a way of showing compassion to them.
He said he welcomed the P226-billion four-year Salary Standardization Law but he supported the proposal of some senators to include retired policemen and soldiers in SSL-4.
“Congress will break the impasse. We are committed to pass this very important legislation to extend compassion to our state workers,” said Romualdez, a senatorial aspirant.
“They really need economic relief to decently support their basic needs.”
The new law mandates a four-year, P226-billion salary increase for the national government’s 1.53-million civilian and military uniformed personnel, public school teachers, nurses and rank-and-file employees. They will receive the lowest salary increase under Aquino’s SSL 2015 that ranges from 11 percent to 22 percent over the next four years.
Those under the sub-professional level will be granted 22.98 percent (Salary Grade 1, the lowest-paid position in government) to 11.99 percent (Salary Grade 9).
The monthly pay of a Head Teacher II (Salary Grade 15) will only increase by 22.68 percent.
Basas’ group accused the government of depriving them of the year-end bonus that they traditionally receive before Christmas.
“The last time that teachers and government employees did not receive a year-end bonus was in December 2004,” the group said.
During the Arroyo administration, the group said, they were consistently granted year-end incentives in varying amounts and names, each receiving a 3,000-peso Productivity Enhancement Pay in February, a 1,000-peso Educational Assistance in June, and a 10,000-peso productivity bonus in 2007 up to 2009, when it was renamed productivity enhancement incentive.
But the Aquino administration reduced the productivity bonus to P5,000 in 2012.
“This is how this administration treats us teachers,” Basas said.
“We hope that in 2016, things will become better and brighter for teachers and state workers under a new government.”
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