Thursday, June 02, 2005

Teachers Deplore Dole-out, Demand Immediate Pay Hike for Government Employees

2/F Teachers’ Center, Mines St. cor. Dipolog St., Bgy.VASRA, Q.C.
Telefax 453-9116
Mobile 0920-9220817
SEC Registration 0108727
TIN 236-090-727-000

June 2, 2005

Reference: Antonio L. Tinio (0920-9220817)
ACT Chairperson

“Is that it? Is that all this government can give to state workers this year? Crumbs!” This was the reaction of public school teachers to Malacañang’s announcement that it would provide a P1,000 “education assistance” bonus to all government employees.

“We need a salary increase, not a dole-out,” said ACT Chairperson Antonio Tinio.

“Malacañang is giving us crumbs. Meanwhile, corrupt fat cats closely linked to Malacañang rake in huge incomes with this administration’s blessing. WinstonGarcia earns over P300,000 monthly, Mikey Arroyo received P600,000 monthly,” added Tinio. “The vast majority of honest workers in the government bureaucracy live on a pittance. Public school teachers earn a mere P9,939 per month—less than half of the monthly cost of living in Metro Manila.” He noted that the Arroyo government has imposed a crippling salary freeze on state workers since 2001.

Teachers further denounced the Arroyo government for its continuing refusal to provide an immediate salary increase for government employees even as LaborSecretary Patricia Sto. Tomas recently announced that private sector workers in Metro Manila would receive a P25 increase in their daily wage.

“This administration really has no compassion for teachers and government employees,” said Tinio. “It continues to refuse to grant a pay hike this year despite the skyrocketing cost of living. We’re feeling the pain of the economic crisis just as much as our counterparts in the private sector.”

Tinio noted that the P25/day wage hike granted in NCR was well below the P125 increase demanded by workers nationwide. “It’s a measly sum compared to the workers’ demands. At best it would have a marginal impact on the standard of living of wage earners. But something is better than nothing—which is what we’regetting.”

“Enough is enough! Four years without a salary increase is no longer acceptable to public school teachers,” said Tinio. “On the first day of the new school year, we will lead protest actions in schools. In the coming weeks and months, we will launch big rallies and mass leaves to press for our demands.” #

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