The National – Friday, December 10, 2010
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
TEACHERS in Western Highlands wants their outstanding leave fare entitlements for last year and this year to be paid in full.
Branch president of the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association Aita Sanangekepe claimed yesterday that more than 50 teachers whose leave fares were due last year were stranded in the province because of the shortage of funds.
He said this year, other teachers of the 4,000 would be going on leave and wanted the provincial administration and education divisions to pay the leave fares in full to the teachers.
Sanangekepe said it was their rightful entitlements and they deserved to take a break to visit their relatives in their provinces and return for duties next year.
He added that teachers whose leave fares were due this year were still in doubt whether they would receive their fares in full or not because of past experiences.
He also said that having no legitimate teachers’ representative on the interim provincial education board was the main contributing factor.
It was alleged that Sanangekepe was voted out as the branch president of the PNGTA in the province in the last election but he had denied that.
He said the election process was hijacked and he and other affected teachers obtained a National Court order (OS No. 542 of 2009) which restrained the electoral commission for conducting the election.
Sanangekepe said the order was still in force.
He said the PNGTA national and provincial elections were conducted without proper consultation of the relevant acts such as the PNGTA Constitution Act (Alotau April, 10, 2008), Industrial Relation Act and the Industrial Organisation Act.
He produced a three-page letter written by Industrial registrar Helen N Saleu dated May 12 of this year to Ketan Lawyers, counsel representing Sanangekepe stated that based on the fact that there was no supervision of the counting and declaration by the office of the industrial registrar, the PNGTA elected executive were not a legitimate elected members.
He claimed that he was still the president until the substantive matter before the court was dealt with.