Private health workers in NCR petition for ₱750 salary increase

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This article is available in Pilipino

Union leaders and health workers of the Private Healthcare Workers Network (PHWN) filed a petition before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board-National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) on June 18 to demand a ₱750 wage increase in the region. They want to bring the current ₱610 minimum wage in the region closer to a living wage of ₱1,197.

Among the petitioners are unions from St. Luke’s Medical Center Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Manila Doctors Hospital, and The Medical City.

“The real value of the NCR minimum wage is only ₱503 compared to the price of goods in 2018,” Jao Clumia, president of St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association Quezon City, said. He said this is far from the cost of a living wage in the region and “requires two people in the family to work so that living conditions are not too miserable.”

“We are challenging the NCR wage board,” Clumia said. This is the agency’s opportunity to prove that health workers are wrong in thinking that the government disregards the suffering of workers in the region.

Despite the higher wages already received by health workers in private hospitals due to their collective bargaining agreements (CBA), the Medical City union president Dennis Memoracion stated that they filed the petition because “[unionized] workers have the obligation to fight for the [unionless] who are defenseless against the abuses of capital.” He said, “one’s fight is everyone’s fight!”

They also called for the abolition of the currently existing different levels of wages in the provinces and regions. “It has been three and a half decades since the Wage Rationalization Act was enacted. [During these years], in all its wage orders across the country, regional wage boards always consider “employers’ capacity to pay” rather than the most conservative estimate of the living wage [of the worker],” Ronald Millano of the Manila Doctors Hospital Employees Association said. They insist on levelling and raising wages throughout the country.

AB: Private health workers in NCR petition for ₱750 salary increase