By Annette Kora – EMTV News, Port Moresby
A nationwide walk off can be expected from teachers around the country if all leave fairs including the 3% salary increase are not met by government before term two of the school year resumes.
This was the demand put forward yet again to the government by the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association National General Secretary, Ugwalubu Mowana. The call comes after frustrated teachers in Madang Province boycotted classes because their fares for 2018 were not paid.
Ugwalubu said every year, the Teachers Services Commission had consistently budgeted and allowed for this entitlement to be disbursed at the provincial level by the provincial administration and unfortunately, these funds are being abused at the provincial level leaving teachers frustrated and in an unnecessary dilemma.
A chronic problem in all provinces that needs to be addressed cohesively by all stakeholders in the education service delivery machinery, PNGTA is taking the stand to make sure that teachers are paid their hard-earned entitlements that come under the program mandated of the Teaching Service Commission.
PNGTA proposes that a complete review of this entitlement in the upcoming negotiations with the government in April of 2019. Mowana further stressed on the non-compliance to the 2017 to 2019 Salary Fixation Agreement calling on the government to honor its commitment and immediately pay the teachers their outstanding 3% salary increment 2018 and 2019 by the first term of 2019 school year.
The agreement as discussed and agreed between the PNGTA and the government should have been completely paid out by October of 2018. However, the government has failed in its part by paying partial backdated payment smeared with unexplained deductions in teachers’ salaries. Failure by the government to address teachers entitlements will result in a nationwide strike at the end of term one.