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Teachers’ group vows massive protest Feb. 15
Education workers on Sunday threatened to stage a massive protest action on Feb. 15 to demand a “substantial” salary increase and “full” respect of democratic rights. Joselyn Martinez, Alliance of Concerned Teachers national president, said ACT would join unions belonging to the Alliance of Health Workers, and Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees to urge the government to improve labor conditions in the public sector by effecting decent pay, providing benefits and ending contractualization. She said they also demanded an end to state-propagated attacks against their unions. Congress on Friday ratified the 2019 General Appropriations Act, following a standoff over billion-peso pork insertions for lawmakers and even some Cabinet secretaries. Martinez lamented that their call for a substantial wage increase was not reflected in the ratified budget, nor were other immediate and just economic demands. “We are on the last tranche of the disproportionate salary adjustment under Aquino’s Executive Order 201, series of 2016, where most teachers as well as the rest of the rank-and-file employees in the government received paltry increases vis-à-vis officials who received as much as a doubled compensation,” she said.