The Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines has led 500 teachers in an “SG 15” human formation to mark today’s International Working Women’s Day with a call for the upgrade of public school teachers’ pay to Salary Grade 15.
“For this year’s IWWD, we aim to highlight the urgent demand of teachers, of whom 80 percent are women, for salary upgrading. We share the call of all working women for decent pay and dignity of work,” said ACT chairperson Joselyn Martinez.
ACT lamented the teaching profession has remained “gravely undervalued” by the government.
“Productive work greatly depends on education. The quality of productive citizens we produce is directly proportional to the quality of education they receive. And in order to improve both, the state should grant teachers living wages,” she added.
The group scored the government for saying it cannot raise the salaries of close to a million public school teachers while doubling the pay of military and uniformed personnel.
“It really is a matter of political will and appreciation of the indispensable contribution of teachers and of education to the nation’s progress,” Martinez said.
She said the victory of public sector nurses in their fight for decent pay before the Supreme Court has encouraged public school teachers to push for the same.
The High Court earlier ruled that starting this year, the entry-level pay of public nurses will be at Salary Grade 15 or P32,053.
“The victory of nurses strengthens the justness and urgency of our fight, especially as nurses and teachers share similar qualifications and provide equally important services. There’s no reason for teachers to remain at Salary Grade 11 which will only come to about P27,000,” Martinez said.