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November 23
17:32 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, -  Nov. 23rd. 2018

Forty-one teachers from Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen have participated in a sit-out from class since Wednesday, and have obtained a permit to demonstrate on Friday if there is not a satisfactory response from either the Teaching Services Commission (TSC) or ministry officials in regards to their concerns. Those concerns include the timeliness of salaries being paid and an attempt to dismiss one teacher, who has not been approved by the TSC.

Mount Carmel Principal Melvin Manzanero told the Reporter that teachers had met with their local manager on Wednesday afternoon to discuss and compile the teachers’ concerns. According to Manzanero, a decision has been made to demonstrate on Friday morning, starting at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Manzanero said the local manager informed teachers that there has been no communication from the TSC or ministry officials since the sit-out began. A meeting to iron the issues has still not been scheduled and teachers reportedly intend to sustain their industrial action until they feel the matter has been adequately resolved.

According to Manzanero, the issues have existed for some time and are now coming to a head as the local manager has engaged in a series of correspondences with ministry officials, however, teachers are increasingly applying pressure to have the situation resolved as teachers say they need their salaries, which is among the several concerns the teachers have. One long-standing teacher, who has not been approved by the TCS, has not received her salary in at least six months. A letter was also sent to the school manager requesting that the teacher be removed from the classroom since she was not approved by the TCS. The teacher, Ana Pech, according to Manzanero, is two years away from retirement and had requested a special permit. She was granted a permit but now the TCS has requested her removal.

Some teachers who have replaced others who have gone on long leave have had trouble receiving their salaries as well, according to Manzanero. Many parents are also concerned about the sit-out and demonstration since Mount Carmel has 937 registered students, who have been out of class since Wednesday. Friday’s demonstration will begin with an assembly on the school compound at 8:30 a.m. Manzanero added that teachers from a few other schools under the same management have also expressed interest in joining Friday’s demonstration to express their own concerns about similar issues at their schools.

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