The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011
MANY secondary schools in Western Highlands have reportedly closed after teachers stayed away from classes on Monday.
Many teachers allegedly stayed out after their demands to the government for a 100% pay increase and K250 housing allowance were not met.
A secondary school teacher from Hagen Park, said the teachers stood by their demand.
He said all teachers had boycotted classes except for one secondary school.
He said teachers in some parts of the country like New Ireland and Eastern Highlands had joined in while teachers in Chimbu held meetings yesterday to decide whether to join the walk-out.
He said all day secondary school students were roaming the streets of Mt Hagen in school uniform because there were no teachers in the classrooms.
He said their log of claims must be properly addressed by government before they returned to class.
The teacher claimed their union, the Papua New Guinea Teachers Association, was being used by certain individuals as a “toy and laughing stock in face of other unions like the PEA and others”.
He said the so-called 7.5% pay increase “is not true because 6% was actually a consumer price index adjustment promised to them by the government and 1.5% was the real pay rise.
The teacher said proper calculation would show their pay would increase by about K6.
He said that was not enough.
The teacher called on parents and other stakeholders to bear with them because they were exercising their right in expressing their grievances on the realities they faced.