Protest over outstanding fares


MORE than 700 teachers in Madang will boycott classes when school starts on Jan 28 to show their frustrations over K11 million outstanding leave fares.
Hundreds of teachers gathered yesterday at Tusbab Secondary School and filled their resumption forms.
They decided to boycott classes while they waited for provincial administration to pay their 2017 outstanding leave fares totalling K7.4 million.
They are also waiting for K3.7 million for 2018 leave fares.
PNG Teachers’ Association Madang branch president Remsy Oss said 700 teachers, entitled to get their leaves fares in 2017, were promised by the provincial government and administration that they would get their dues when Government accounts opened last year. This did not happen.
Oss said this year, 500 teachers entitled to K3.7 million for 2018 leave fares, were still waiting.
He said teachers were the face of Government in rural areas and played important roles apart from teaching.
“We have suggested two options: one is to take the government to court and the other is to quit teaching in 2019 and demand for our outstanding leave fares,” he said.
They teachers agreed that head teachers would inform parents in all school to have their children stay back at home when the boycott began.
Teacher Christopher Gaulat said Madang government sponsored 100 students to study in the Philippines so it should have enough funds to pay full outstanding leave fares of teachers.
Other matters teachers raised were the need to stand together and voice their concerns, and an audit into how provincial education funds (especially money tied to leave fares) were used.
“We want what is rightfully owed to us,” he said.
Provincial education director Moses Sariki said all documents were compiled and provided to provincial administration and government for outstanding leave fares for 2017 to be paid.
He did not know why there were no funds to cater for this.