Teachers participate in “sit-down strike” to call for salary increase, higher allowance


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MANILA, Philippines – Teachers from the National Capital Region (NCR) and even from other regions participated in a “sit-down strike” as they call for an increase in salary, better benefits, higher education 2019 budget and more, today, November 29.
Teachers participate in “sit-down strike” calls for salary increase, higher allowance

Teachers participate in “sit-down strike”
Teachers participate in “sit-down strike” | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ACT-Philippines

Thousands of teachers heeded the call of teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers- Philippines (ACT-Philippines) to protest their appeals and sentiments to the government. The group urged the teachers to participate in a “sit-down strike”, where instead of teaching their regular lessons, the teachers will talk about the “crisis” in the country.

Teachers ask for better living wages, higher education budget, stop TRAIN Law
Teachers ask for better living wages, higher education budget, stop TRAIN Law | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ACT-Philippines

ACT-Philippines explained, “Puputulin natin ang regular na daloy ng pagtuturo sa mga paaralan sa pamamagitan ng sit-down strike. Sa halip na regular na leksyon, magtuturo tayo hinggil sa krisis na dinaranas ng sambayanan at ipauunawa sa mga estudyante, magulang at publiko na ang ating pagkilos ay hindi lamang para sa ating mga sarili, kundi para sa karapatan ng lahat ng mamamayan para sa disenteng pamumuhay.”

Calls for salary increase, upgrades in allowance, higher 2019 education budget

On ACT-Philippines' Facebook page, they shared their sentiments that with the rising costs of commodities and services, the teachers’ salaries just aren't enough. They pointed out that if the government can increase the salaries of their officials, police force and military, pay hike for teachers should also be considered.

ACT-Philippines’ statement wrote,"Samantala, nagpapasasa sa 150% hanggang 223% na dagdag sweldo ang gabinete, mga mambabatas at pangulo hanggang 2019! Dinoble ang basic pay ng pulis at sundalo ngayong taon at itataas pa sa susunod na taon ang sweldo ng mga opisyales ng PNP at AFP.”

The teachers group also called for the increase of their Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (P.E.R.A), which they claimed has not increased since 2009.

ACT-Philippines also criticized the Duterte administration's TRAIN law as the cause of the crisis they are experiencing. They stated, “Tinitiyak ng administrasyon ni Duterte sa pamamagitan ng mga neoliberal na polisiya ang dambuhalang kita ng mga dayuhan at malalaking negosyante habang ginugutom ang mamamayan sa taas ng buwis, presyo ng bilihin at karampot na sahod.”


ACT-Philippines calls the “sit-down strike” a success
ACT-Philippines calls the “sit-down strike” a success | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ACT-Philippines

ACT-Philippines renewed their calls to the Congress and the Senate to return the cuts made for the 2019 education budget. They stated, “Nagpapatuloy ang ating paggiit sa Konggreso at Senado na ibalik ang bilyun-bilyong kaltas sa badyet ng rehimeng Duterte sa edukasyon para sa taong 2019. Isasadlak ng kaltas ang sistema ng edukasyon sa mas malalalang krisis sa kulang na guro, kawani, klasrum, kagamitan at bawas na benepisyo.”

The teachers group stood firm with their calls for “Sweldo itaas! Pera dagdagan! Train law, ibasura! Badyet sa edukasyon, dagdagan, huwag bawasan!"

ACT-Philippines calls the November-29 sit-down strike a success. They noted that in the National Capital Region (NCR), they had thousands of teachers from a total of 366 schools. They also had teachers from Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Davao Region and Cagayan de Oro.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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