The Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines denounced on Tuesday the Department of Education’s ‘conscious’ effort to discriminate legitimate teachers’ organizations, which represent the largest section of its workforce, in the 2nd DepEd Employees’ Congress organized by the DepEd Employees Association Coordinating Office.
The Congress was held on Jan. 28 to 30.
ACT Philippines said it is outright condemnable that legitimate teachers’ federations and associations, especially ACT unions which hold the status of being the sole and exclusive negotiating agent of public school teachers for a number of regions, were consciously and intentionally not invited to and not informed about the activity, while the activity purportedly aims to discuss Public Sector Unionism.
ACT Philippines has requested DepEd for a dialogue to clarify the issue and assert teachers’ rightful representation in the activity but the agency leadership’s lack of response only proves its deliberate attempt to exclude ACT in the activity. The utterly biased and unprofessional conduct of Deped on the matter is unbecoming of a government agency that supposedly serves and answers to its constituents, the group said.
ACT leaders are active officers in various organizations as well and are undeniably known champions of the causes of the rank-and-file. As such, they were inevitably elected to important positions in the DEACO regional coordinating bodies.
The group said that the ‘willful’ effort of DepEd to keep out ACT from DEACO activities says a lot of the sham that DEACO really is.
It reveals of the office’s insincerity to truly hear out and consult the agency’s employees. It also makes suspect DEACO’s real agenda in the upcoming Congress. After all, ACT has monitored not a few times that some agency officials are actively vilifying and red-tagging ACT in seminars and conferences that DepEd recently conducted, they said.
“It is reprehensible that in its bid to take part in the Duterte Administration’s wrongful campaign of attacking legitimate organizations to boost its counter-insurgency campaign, the agency is censuring and endangering its own employees—the legitimate public school teachers,” ACT Philippines said.
“ACT Philippines and its member-unions cannot be gagged and will not tire in advancing the causes of teachers and the education sector. Neither will it be intimidated by the high-handed tactics of the education agency as great matters are at stake—our fight for decent salaries, ample benefits, and humane working conditions, as well as every Filipino child’s basic right to free and quality education,” the group said.
“Genuinely democratic consultations can never happen if there is no real inclusivity. Include ACT and other teachers’ groups in the DEACO 2nd Congress!,” the group said.