Salary hike for gov’t employees ‘worthless’ – ACT | Inquirer News

Salary hike for gov’t employees ‘worthless’ – ACT

Composite photo ACT logo over members in protest. STORY: Salary hike for gov’t employees ‘worthless’ – ACT

Alliance of Concerned Teachers photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has pooh-poohed the annual salary hike of government workers under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) V as “worthless,” as it only added a measly P4.85 to their daily minimum wage based on the group’s computation.

The progressive teachers’ group made the statement on Sunday after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) assured government employees of the last tranche of their pay increase next year under the SSL V, or Republic Act No. 11466, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte.

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Based on the group’s computation, which took into account the average consumer price index or inflation in the past four years, government employees under Salary Grade (SG) 1 only got an increase of P106 monthly or P4.85 daily from 2018 to October this year.

“What increase in the 2023 salary for government workers is the DBM taking pride in when it can’t even buy one sachet of 3-in-1 coffee for the past four years?” said Vladimer Quetua, ACT chairperson.

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Under the RA 11466, SG 1 employees are currently receiving P12,517 monthly, which the group said was less than the basic pay of minimum wage earners in Metro Manila who get P570 or P14,820 monthly.

With the consumer price index in October at 117.9, ACT’s calculation showed that the SG 1 workers’ nominal salary of P12,517 was only P10,616.62, or a P106 difference from their 2018 pay of P10,510.

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

Four-grade adjustment

ACT also appealed for a four-grade adjustment to the salaries of public school teachers, which will upgrade the pay of Teacher 1 position from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15.

Meanwhile, health workers demanding an increase in their minimum wages have gained the support of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who said medical personnel should be getting a monthly pay equal to that of public school teachers.

“I support the call of the health-care workers to raise their salary,” Gatchalian said in a radio interview on Sunday.

“Our health-care workers’ entry-level pay should be the same with what our teachers are getting. We have to work on that because we have seen the importance of our health-care workers during the pandemic,” he said.

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Senators JV Ejercito and Risa Hontiveros had also backed the call of health personnel, with the latter asking the Department of Health to tap its remaining “unobligated funds” for 2022 to pay for the overdue benefit claims.

Health workers too

Last week, members of the Alliance of Health Workers held a series of protests to demand the payment for their mandated pandemic benefits and the adjustment in their basic pay.

The group insisted that health workers should be paid at least P33,000 a month, or nearly three times of the current salary of P12,000 for entry-level positions in state-owned health facilities.

Newly hired government teachers, on the other hand, are given Salary Grade 15, or a monthly basic pay of around P35,000.

Gatchalian said state workers were also assured of getting wage adjustments next year as the P5.3-trillion national budget, which the Senate approved last week, included funds for the next tranche of pay hikes under the SSL, which then President Benigno Aquino III signed in 2016.

“In fact, [SSL] is a priority [budget item],” he said.

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TAGS: Alliance of Concerned Teachers, government workers salary hike, Salary Standardization Law V
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