The good thing about working in the court is that we get all sorts of bonuses disguised in different names (same with our leaves), such as the Emergency Employment Assistance bonus (equal to 1 month pay) which we received just before the Halloween long weekend. The EEA is supposed to help out with tuition fee related expenses, with the other subsidy happening just before June. No wonder resignations are tendered between July to September, aka the lean months.
The Christmas bonus, or 13th month pay, is given in two tranches, with half handed out in May and the other half in November. There’s also the grocery allowance to reckon with, which varies every year but is usually a sizable amount as well. Then every month, there’s the bonus from the judiciary funds, which is not a lot but can just about cover 1-2 weeks worth of groceries.
You would think that with all of these windfalls the court employees would be awash with cash, but the opposite happens. The cooperative is usually teeming with employees inquiring if their last loan has been paid up, so that they can take out another loan. A typical government employee would generally be well-versed with the different loans that he/she can take out on his/her salary (i.e. GSIS, Pag-ibig etc).
While it would be easy to dismiss this as another perfect example of financial mismanagement, the fact is the rank and file receive such a pitiful salary (about Php8,000 for the drivers and utility workers). The pay grade goes a bit higher for the clerks, but generally, it doesn’t go above Php20,000. That’s why all the bonuses are accounted for in their budgeting and a day or two of delay causes major grousing and semi-panic among the ranks.
I’ve always wondered why they choose to stay, when they could move to the private sector and earn much more. But after a few months, I got my answer. The pay may not be stellar, but the working hours are great. Where else can you find an office with 4 people doing a single person’s job? A productivity expert would go nuts with how inefficient most offices are ran in the court system (or maybe it’s just our office?).
I remember when I worked in the airline, we had one secretary and she was on her feet practically the whole day doing the admin work, coordinating with the other departments and generally just bossing us around. But in my current office you have three proofreaders and one senior citizen whose job is to comb her hair, hog the bathroom and list down the incoming cases, in that order. Ang saya-saya.
My my, this is turning out to be a very lengthy post! And to think I only wanted to comment on this video on making your bonus work for you:
I agree with Salve Duplito, don’t fritter away your Christmas bonus on presents. Or if you can’t help it, allot a huge chunk as your gift for yourself and use it as seed money for your emergency fund.
Now excuse me while I come up with my Christmas list.