The 68 employees of the National Weather Service (NWS) who were promised their outstanding salaries from 2016 and 2017 will be paid soon.
Transport Secretary, Roy Mumu, said the Treasury Department has allocated K1.7 million to pay NWS workers.
However, while this news seems promising, it was not in black and white.
At 10am today, 38 NWS employees in Port Moresby gathered outside the Office of the Transport Secretary.
The employees were there to present a petition outlining their grievances and issue a 21-day notice to take industrial actions.
Their demands include a response on when their salaries will be transferred and their outstanding salaries dating back to 2009.
In December last year, NWS employees halted what was a looming nationwide strike when they were verbally promised their salary discrepancies would be addressed in the first pay period of 2018.
When that did not happen on 3rd January this year, NWS employees went on a nationwide strike, which lasted for almost two weeks.
Into the second week of stop work, a meeting was held between NWS staff and the Transport Department. In that meeting, the employees were assured they would be paid then.
However, that has not eventuated and today the staff returned with another petition.
Secretary Mumu then explained the difference in their salary when NWS became a division of the Transport Department.
Mr Mumu said the matter was addressed in his capacity as the secretary responsible and is now before the Department of Personnel Management.
He further stated that it was an administrative matter and could have been addressed out of the media.
Mumu later announced the allocation of K1.7 million to transfer NWS employees’ salaries.
But with the current economic situation, this promised payment depends on Treasury Department.