PNG Union Concerned About Failure To Pay Public Servants

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

At start of year employees collectively owed $99 million

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 25, 2016) – Public sector unions have expressed concern that the Papua New Guinea government has failed to pay public servants on time.

The Post Courier reports that the government is the biggest employer in PNG with over 112,000 public servants.

The Council of Public Sector Unions said they had been inundated by callers related to the non-payment of salaries.

The council said while the government was assuring people that it was not broke, the events of the last two months depicted a different scenario.

It said as of the start of the year, public servants were owed a billed liability of nearly US$ 99 million and millions more in superannuation contributions.

The chair Emma Faiteli said when government workers were not paid their due wages, it was a national disaster as the repercussions were far reaching.

She said teachers were not in the classrooms teaching and policemen not doing policing work as they are in town at ATMs checking whether their pays had been processed.

Ms Faiteli warned there would be social and economic disorder if the pay crisis continued and the government must be held accountable.

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