Image: Papua New Guinea Teachers Association General Secretary, Ugwalubu Mowana.
By Michelle Steven – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Papua New Guinea Teachers Association wants the government to pay the three percent pay rise promised to them, according to the Teaching Service Salary Fixation Agreement, signed between the Council of Public Sectors Union and the government in 2016. The association demanded a response from the government this Friday, or term two classes for primary and secondary schools will be disrupted.
Last year, the government offered that they would pay the teachers over a scheduled spread of pays, but the Teachers Association, on behalf of the teachers, rejected the government’s proposal.
Papua New Guinea Teachers Association National General Secretary, Ugwalubu Mowana, said 2017 outstanding pays of three percent were paid, however, 2018 and 2019 have not been paid yet, under the 2017-2019 salary fixation agreement.
“We’ve realized that cost of living today is high and our pay cannot sustain it. The government doesn’t even consider how the consumer price index can determine to push in the cost of living in the country,” said Mowana.
The Association wants a one-off payment so that teachers can secure pay increases from income tax and goods and services tax as well.
Two months ago, when the Minister for Education met with the Council of Public Sectors Union and Teachers Service Commission, the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association were assured that payments would be made on one-off payments within regions and according to the PNGTA, nothing of that has happened yet. They have waited a very long time, and it’s about time the government did something.
Mowana says the agreement that they signed will end this year and teachers need to be paid this percentage of their money instead of being lied to.
“We are demanding that by Friday we must receive our payments or we will disrupt the second term of the schooling year either in the beginning or end,” said Mowana.