Teachers call on government to refund leave fares


The East Sepik Teachers Union is calling on the provincial government to honour the recommendation by the Ombudsman Commission to refund half of their leave fares wrongly deducted.
From 2009 to 2012, East Sepik teachers who requested leave fares in cash were given 50 per cent of their leave fares only, a representative of the aggrieved teachers, Andrew Kopta told The National on Monday.
He said the provincial administration misunderstood a section in the public service general orders which stated that 50 per cent of leave entitlements for public servants excluding teachers be deducted.
“In 2012 I brought in the Ombudsmen Commission to look into the matter and they found out that provincial administration was guilty of an offence,” he said.
He said before the investigation commenced the provincial administration advised the Ombudsman Commission that it would honour the recommendations if it was at fault.
“The East Sepik provincial administration did not honour the commitment made in 2014, the issues is a pending case,” Kopta said
He said the union was very concerned about how teachers were being treated.
Kopta added that last year a warrant of K923,700 for teachers leave fares was released but half of that amount was given to teachers travelling to the Southern region and some of it to teachers from the New Guinea Islands.
“Leave fares were not received on time and only K566,400 was released by the province,” Kopta told The National.
He said the education advisor told the union that he had been advised by the province that only K566,400 was released by the treasury department and not K923,700 as indicated on the warrant issued.
He said about two months ago, K200,000 of the 2016 leave fares was released.
“By end of this month the outstanding amount must be paid, if not we will make sure the union mobilises the teachers and take this as an industrial issue.”