60 volunteers sacked, cry foul-A A +A
Thursday, October 3, 2013
ABOUT 60 volunteer teachers hired from different public schools in Talisay City were summarily dismissed from their jobs after they were alleged to be “midnight appointees” of the previous administration.
Teacher-aide volunteers (TAVs) hired by the City’s previous administration said they were not given due process by the Talisay City Government and were just removed from their jobs last month.
But Talisay City Legal Officer Alfredo Sipalay denied allegations made by the TAVs, adding that the hiring of the volunteer teachers was very “disadvantageous” to the City Government.
One of the 60 TAVs, who refused to give his name, said they suddenly found themselves jobless after their contracts were no longer honored by the city.
The TAVs, who started working last July, were appointed by the administration of former Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez.
One of the TAVs even showed reporters copies of their contracts that were signed by Fernandez, former City Administrator Richel Bacaltos and Talisay City Schools Division Supt. Woodrow Denuyo.
The TAVs denied they were supporters of former Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas and were “midnight appointees” by the defeated mayoral bet.
“We applied for the job not out of political connections, but by our own sweat. Dili lalim magbalik balik sa City Hall para lang mag-follow up sa among mga applications (It’s not easy to keep coming back to City Hall just to follow-up our applications),” one TAV said.
They accused Sipalay and other city officials of allegedly failing to get their side on the issue. They claimed that they only sought Denuyo’s comment on their job status.
They also questioned why Sipalay and City Administrator John Yre de los Reyes had ordered their dismissal when Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes, as chairman of the Local School Board, should make the decision himself.
But Sipalay, in a separate interview, said the TAVs were given due process.
Sipalay said that after consultation with the City’s public school principals, he found that some of the TAV’s were working for only two to three hours worth of load due to the presence of nationally-hired teachers.
The Department of Education recently gave Talisay City 253 items for teachers during the opening of the school year. Out of the 253, 200 slots had been filled so far.
Sipalay revealed that a majority of public schools in Talisay City are overcrowded with teachers because of the presence of those hired by City Hall and Deped.
One nationally-hired teacher, Mary Lou Garcia, claimed she and her fellow regular teachers are now working with less than the required six hours mandated to them by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) due to the presence of so many teachers.
“Mangutana na lang intawn ang among mga estudyante kung ga-cutting ba mi kay gamay ra man ang oras na among trabahuon (The students ask if we’re cutting classes since we only work for a short time),” Garcia said.
Sipalay said he plans to meet with the TAVs again in a conference tomorrow. Denuyo and Deped 7 Regional Director Carmelita Dulangon are set to be in that conference.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2013.