Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has tasked the Education Minister and the Teaching Service Commission to have a report about the unexplained teacher pay cuts on his table by Monday.
The Prime Minister was in Lae for the swearing in of the Lae City Authority Board when I asked him what actions would be taken to get to the bottom of the affecting teachers all over the country.
The PM said he was not sure what the root of the problem was but he gave assurances that he would personally act on it when he got back to Port Moresby.
“There are pay cuts and we are disappointed. I don’t know why that is happening. I have directed the Minister for Education and the Chief Secretary to look into it today (Thursday) and I want a report on my desk my Friday.
“I will get a full understanding of it by tomorrow and if there is something that needs correcting, it will be done by Monday,” the PM said.
Yesterday, Officers from the Education Minister’s office and the department reached out for assistance. We supplied a list of names as a sample for the initial report for the PM to be prepared.
So far, there has not been a satisfactory explanation from the Education department. However, both the Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, and the Education Minister, Nick Kuman, have both agreed the payroll system has had “some problems.”
On Wednesday, Teachers in Lae met with officers from the Morobe Salaries section. The meeting left many teachers dissatisfied with the answers after the teachers were told many of their deductions were due to loan deductions.
The PNG Teachers Association in Port Moresby has since called for an investigation into the pay cuts. Last week they issued a statement with which included the following demands:
- For all salary deductions from teachers be refunded by pay 21
- For the Department to investigate possible fraudulent activity in payroll
- For the payroll system be managed by a competent company