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Unregistered Teachers in PNG to be put off payroll, Union sees this as illegal threat

Teachers in Papua New Guinea  will be automatically put off the payroll if they are NOT registered in the national identification project.

This was the directive from the Education Department.

A notice was issued on Tuesday (08.01.19) for all teachers to register before the end of March, or miss out on pay 6 for 2019.

However, General Secretary of the PNG Teachers Association, Ugwailbu Mowana is concerned that registering 60,000 teachers across the country may not be possible.

He's calling on the Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra and Acting Registrar General Noel Mobiha to withdraw the statements, describing it a threat to teachers.

"This is threatening.

"We are trying to implement a government decision.

"We don't threaten people to implement a government decision.

"NID registration is not about teachers in this country. Its about everybody in this country. So why threaten the teachers?

"You know what will happen around that time with this threat? When teachers resume in two weeks time, they do not fill in resumption forms, so you know what will happen around that time? They will be automatically suspended," Mr Mowana said.

The PNG Teachers Association has questioned the decision by the education department for teachers without proper identification documents to be put off the payroll.

Whilst acknowledging the National Executive Council's decision, the union says it is absurd and the union strongly opposes it.

Mr Mowana says the education department nor the Civil Registry has the power to suspend teachers, except for the Teaching Service Commission.

"As a union we support registration of teachers. This is very important.

"However we raise the question of where this notice has the basis for its legal standing?

"We recognize the power of the Teaching Service Commission in dealing with teachers.

"To put them on the payroll and to put them on the payroll, the power rests with the TSC.

"This decision to suspend teachers after 31st of March lacks legal authority," Mr Mowana said.

NBC News

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