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Unpaid leave entitlements anger many

By Poreni Umau PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 6, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea (PNG), a total of 402 teachers in Madang Province have been left stranded by the provincial education office.

They have not been paid their leave entitlements since December 10 last year.

The disgruntled teachers gathered outside the provincial education office yesterday and demanded that their leave entitlement woes be sorted out once and for all.

They called on the provincial education advisor to deal with the ongoing issue, citing that this was a sickness crawling into the office where teachers were being used as cheap puppets.

The teachers have threatened to boycott classes when the school year begins if they are not paid their leave entitlements.

Moses Gabuogi, male representative of the Momase PNG Teachers Association, Madang branch said that teachers were not paid their leave entitlements since all schools closed for the Christmas holidays, on December 10, 2010. Mr. Gabuogi said that since then, they were continuously told to return on Friday, and each Friday, they returned it was still the same old tale.

He said that it was a sad case for Madang because the other Momase provinces have addressed the issue while Madang still made their teachers suffer.

He said that there were only two weeks remaining before the school year starts and this would affect classes. He said that 259 teachers were included on the list to receive their entitlements while 159 were not included, though they applied.

He said that the teachers have mobilized to meet with the PNG Teachers Association Madang branch executives today at the Holy Spirit Primary School to bring this matter to rest.

Mr. Gabuogi said that the teachers were already tired of the same old answers given by the provincial education authorities who gave the lame excuse citing no funds were being made available.

He said that such issues were indications of non-negotiations between the provincial and National education authorities and non-organization on the part of the provincial education office.

The teachers were told by the provincial education advisor that they would be informed of the latest from Waigani tomorrow; citing authorities in Waigiani were still meeting on the issue.

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