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Papua New Guinea

Misunderstanding caused chaos

The Teaching Services Commission has pinned the blame on teachers pay cuts on a implementation process involving the 2017 pay increase of three percent.

It was noticed that teachers complained of “pay cuts” in Pay No 20 on September 26, 2018.

Mr Sori said that he has consulted the Department of Personnel Management and he has held extensive discussions with the PNG Teachers Association who are both joint signatories to the Teaching Service Pay Fixation Agreement 2017 to 2019.

“The true situation has been uncovered and he wishes to assure the teachers that there have been no such pay cuts as they believed had happened.

“It is a misunderstanding due to the implementation process.”

“Government experienced serious cash flow shortages during 2017 and into 2018 due to low commodity prices and the natural emergencies throughout the Country.

“By Pay No 13 of June 20, sufficient funds could not be located to pay off in one pay period the teachers accumulated back pay amounting to K55 million.

“Therefore, the Budget Management Committee programmed the back pay in six equal cash flow installments to be completed by Pay No 18 on August 20,” Mr sori said.

However, due to operational problems in the Finance Payroll this extended to Pay No 19 on September 12.

“Over the six pay periods, teachers had received an equal back pay installment in each pay period of between K115 at the lowest Elementary School level, K234 at the Primary School level and K480 at the High School level,” Mr Sori explained.

The chairman said that in discussions with the PNG Teachers Association, it became clear that many teachers had wrongly assumed that each of the six fortnightly back pay installments received in each pay period was the actual fortnightly pay rise. Therefore, in Pay No 20 on 26th September 2018 when the back pay installments ceased and normal pay resumed, teachers mistook the drop in their pay as a “pay cut”.

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