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PNG Government Intervenes to prevent planned Teachers' Strike

The government has intervened to prevent strike action by teachers nationwide over salaries.

The heads of the Teaching Service Commission and Teachers Association met with the Minister for Education Minister Nick Kuman to resolve the teachers’ grievances.
Following the meeting, the Minister gave his department two weeks to address the teachers’ concerns.
The teachers’ concerns are echoed every year by the PNG Teachers Association, the union body that represents them, and are mostly to do with their welfare, salary and outstanding entitlements.
This year was no different with the current proposed nationwide strike imminent. However, PNG Teachers Association General Secretary Ugwalubu Mowana urged teachers to remain calm while the government moves to address their issues.
Currently, there are 48, 000 teachers nationwide and among some of the issues discussed was the need to produce pay slips for teachers. However, producing 48,000 pay slips every fortnight is very costly – hence, the Education Department plans to have them available online.
The main issue at hand is to address the teachers’ salary fixation and have teachers paid what is owed to them which is something the Education Department will immediately do, with an audit, to the teacher’s payroll system.

Minister Kuman has given his department two weeks to collect information and identify the loopholes.
The Teaching Services Commission, the body that employs teachers, maintained that 2014 was the year of implementation. Thus, Chairman Baran Sori says, most payments were paid out early this year, followed by teachers’ performance base salary in June and July. However, he urged teachers to be patient.

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