PNGTA has lost its way, claims Nuabo

National, Normal


THE Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association should tell its members why it had not stepped forward to meet legal costs for seven teachers in the National Capital District who were suspended by the Teaching Service Commission three years ago for taking part in an industrial strike.
Port Moresby branch president Andrew Nuabo last Friday said the PNGTA seemed to have lost its aim and goal in serving the interest of the teachers.
Mr Nuabo said the seven teachers, who were PNGTA members, had their cases still pending in the National Court in Port Moresby.
In 2006, teachers nationwide went on strike over pay and allowances resulting in the suspension of 60 teachers.
 Fifty-three of these teachers were later reinstated following their successful appeal to the Teaching Service Commission.
“Up until now the other seven members are still in court battling their suspension,” he said.
He added that  PNGTA had not even attempted to meet their legal costs.
Mr Nuabo said the PNGTA constitution clearly stated that, “any financial member of the union affected as a result of industrial action, the union would use the members’ money to help members in such situations.
Mr Nuabo also pointed out that  the seven teachers held senior executive positions in the association prior to their suspension.
However, the PNGTA had removed their names from contesting in the current elections.
“Elections are on now but because our names are not on the ballot papers, we now ask whose interest the PNGTA is serving.”
Mr Nuabo said they plan to petition the PNGTA management to resolve this matter.
“PNGTA was established to protect the interest of the members but here we see they have failed in providing legal aid,” he said, adding that they had been told to fund their own court battles.
Mr Nuabo said there were other issues that seemed to have been mishandled by the PNGTA.
“Through this meeting we will take certain actions to show PNGTA that it had failed us,” he said.
The PNGTA management was not available on Friday last comment.