This morning, I was informed that a number of teachers in Lae had not received their full salaries. On average, each teacher mentioned had about K200 deducted from each of their salaries over two consecutive fortnights.
I didn’t know how bad the situation was. So by 7am, I posted an alert on Facebook asking teachers in Lae to provide some leads.
Almost immediately, the Facebook messages and text messages came flooding in. And I am not exaggerating here. Teachers from primary and secondary were sending messages from all over the country telling me that they had pay cuts which affected their families in a big way.
Most teachers don’t get much in terms of a salary. So a K200 deduction can sometimes amount to a third or even half their pay. Yes. It’s that bad. I also know for a fact that teachers do it tough. My big papas were teachers. Their sons and daughters are teachers.
I spent my holidays in some of the most remote parts of the country. It was fun but it helped me understand the difficulties what my dad’s elder brother faced as a head teacher. Fact is, a K200 deduction hurts! Teachers do an important job for this country and to have their pays cut without decent explanation is infuriating!
I can’t name the teachers because I don’t have their permission to do so. But these are actual messages sent to me by inbox or SMS:
Kiunga, Western Province: “Pay cut for teachers in kiunga too…western province…”
Dregahafen, Morobe: “Bro, me n my spouse. Pay cut, k160 for each of us.”
Utu Seconday, New Ireland: “Pay cut for all teachers nationwide. Some it has been continuous with explanation. Pay cuts range from K100 to K600”
Gaulim, East New Britain: “All lecturers in Gaulim Teachers college have had pay cuts of about K200 this pay day (pay 20) Also had the same experience – cut of K200 in pay 18.”
Enga Teachers College: “Good afternoon Scott, all across PNG. It’s a slap on the face for the implementers of SBC. Where is justice? Govt must NOT ignore the plight of those who produce other professionals.”
Anglimp-South Whagi, Jiwaka: Name ###### #####… No one told me anything as yet… My pay was K31.05 and I was shocked to see this!!!
Lae, Morobe Province: “I’m a teacher teaching here in Lae district. I have faced this pay cut in pay 18 and now in pay 20 again… My file number 10######”
Teachers can assist in building up this story by supplying your personal information like pay slips that may show why this deductions are happening. This is injustice. Those in control cannot make excuses and say it was a ‘technical glitch.’
I don’t think it is.