By Cong B. Corrales
Associate Editor .
TEACHERS and their support groups of the Alliance Concerned Teachers from across Northern Mindanao will go on strike this afternoon.
According to the group’s President, Ophelia Tabacon, the sit-down strike aims to register the teacher’s protest to the government for being deaf to their standing clamor for salary increase.
The group will converge in Magsaysay Park in Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City at 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Thursday with calls for a standard salary of P30,000 for teachers, medical subsidy, increase in chalk allowance and the additional benefits stated in the Collective Negotiation Agreement between ACT-Union and the Department of Education. The Sit-Down Strike is a nationally-coordinated activity of ACT Union in the country.
“Sec. Briones of the Department of Education should, but does not, advocate for our calls. She, herself, said that the teachers should not expect any increase in our salaries during her term because that would burden taxpayers. While the Duterte government neglects the teachers and the sector of education, in general, it deliberately pours funds to policemen and soldiers who are known to carry out scores of human rights violations at the President’s orders,” Tabacon said.
The group also claimed that their woes have tripled with the Train Law and the rising costs of basic commodities and services. The group also reported that many teachers who were also forced to loan money from the GSIS complained of missed payments due to poor services by both the Department of Education and the GSIS..
“The teachers are paid cheaply. Our salary does not compensate the overwhelming responsibilities that the government continues to impose on us from unnecessary paper works and requirements to extracurricular activities that augment for the lack of services from government agencies such as children’s health, disaster preparedness and even maintenance of school buildings,” Tabacon said.
She explained that the teachers are already overworked and underpaid. They are deprived of rest because six hours is not enough to teach and at the same time comply with daily paperwork, and of summer vacations because teachers are obliged to run Reading Camps, Brigada Eskwela and Inset trainings.