Provinces told to pay leave fares

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EDUCATION Minister Jimmy Uguro has urged provincial governments to ensure funds for teachers’ leave fares are factored in their annual budgets.
He said this in response to a media report yesterday on the PNG Teachers’ Association’s (PNGTA) plan to take legal action over unpaid leave entitlements.
Uguro said he understood a large number of teachers in the country had not received their leave fares last year.
He explained that the function of looking after leave fares had been transferred to provincial governments.
“Provincial governments are solely responsible for teachers’ leave fares under a decentralised programme,” Uguro said.
“Teachers are entitled to be paid their leave fares. Provinces must not make excuses.
“Provincial governments must not divert teachers’ leave fares for other purposes.”
Uguro urged teachers to exhaust all avenues before taking the matter to court.
“TSC (Teaching Service Commission) is the authority which must be consulted first instead of going to court without negotiating,” he said.
PNGTA had urged all provincial education boards to follow standard procedures in resolving teacher issues.
The association’s general secretary, David Numbaming, said education advisers and provincial education board chairmen were well vested with the correct procedures, laws, policies and rules which was why teachers should not be facing problems with leave fares and appointments.