Did the pay cut issue need PM’s direction for action to be taken? What happened to public servants?

teachersThe alarm bells should have been ringing in the corridors  of the National Department of Education in Port Moresby when teachers began reporting that their pays had been cut.

At the national level,  a proper detailed response should have been prepared to put the teacher’s minds at ease and an immediate investigation  initiated.

Instead  the department’s  response was delayed. The arrogance of  those in charge of provincial education   divisions around the country came to the fore.

Many teachers were told that  they would have to  pay for their own pay slips.  Teachers  told of how they – the men and women  at the frontline of the war against illiteracy and ignorance – were treated badly by pen pushers who sat behind desks in government officers.

Many in education offices who deal with teachers queries have a false sense of importance.  Teachers have complained that  they are  not accorded the respect they deserve.

The mistreatment of teachers  ranged from plain rudeness to verbal abuse and extortion.  There are hundreds of cases.  Rural teachers are perhaps treated the worst.  Teachers know how to do their jobs well in a school.  But they don’t know how to weave through a system complicated by people to tell them to “come back  tomorrow” because the officer in charge isn’t at work.

No clear explanation was given as to why the pay cuts happened or how the “3% increment” was calculated  and paid.  They only got to know about an apparent fault in the payroll system when the Education Minister, Nick Kuman mentioned it.

What happened to the managers responsible for the salaries section and the payroll? Why did an explanation have to come from the minister? What happened to  internal communications  that could have been  passed on to teachers with clarity?

From the outside, the bureaucracy  is out of touch with reality.  It is so comfortable with the status quo that its sluggishness was exposed.

The PM  responded to the concerns and directed the Education Minister to respond appropriately   because the public servant paid by the government  didn’t do his or her job.

They neglected it and thought it would go away. But it didn’t and  the PM got involved. It got to the PM’s office because somebody didn’t do his job.

I hope to see those incompetent faceless  people get sacked. Their incompetence caused hundreds of families to suffer over three fortnights.

1 comment on “Did the pay cut issue need PM’s direction for action to be taken? What happened to public servants?

  1. Rae Kataha Smart

    Paycuts for teachers… an utter disgrace. There are many other ways to pay for the APEC CIRCUS. Do not steal education opportunities away from the future leaders of this country. So angry……


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