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30-day sick leave benefit for public school teachers pushed

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ACT Teachers Rep.  France Castro is pushing for a 30-day sick leave benefit to be granted to public school teachers.

“Public school teachers deserve sick leave benefits, especially in light of the heavy workload which they are made to bear, including various tasks not related to teaching,” Castro said.

Castro elaborated, “Public school teachers have long been complaining of not being afforded sick leave benefits within the school year because they are allegedly already covered by the leave benefits granted to those on ‘teachers leave basis’ or the service credits and the Proportional Vacation Pay.”

“However, service credits are compensation for work done by the teacher beyond regular functions or regular work or days, such as Brigada Eskwela, election and census service,” she added.

In filing House Bill 5349, Castro said it’s about time that the laws were amended to provide public school teachers protection against health complications, especially considering that most of such conditions are the effects of the daily strain of teachers’ tasks in schools and overwork.

“With the current laws, rules and regulations, it is as if public school teachers can choose to only get sick during the summer breaks and are expected to simply ‘bear it’ during the school year. Moreover, teachers suffer deductions in their salaries if they choose to absent themselves from class,” the lawmaker said.

“Service credits and the Proportional Vacation Pay have different nature and purpose compared to sick leave. House Bill 5349 provides public school teachers sick leave benefits of 30 days per year,” she added.

Co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Carlos Zarate, Rep. Ferdie Gaite and Rep. Eufemia Cullamat of Bayan Muna Party-list, Rep. Arlene Brosas of  Gabriela Women’s Party and Rep. Sarah Elago of the Kabataan Party-list.

Read the official copy of the House Bill No. 5349.

— Mark, Deped Tambayan


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