Happy Christmas Teachers | Have You Got Your 10% Increment Government Promised You in 2013?


Many Papua New Guineans are looking forward to a good holiday. Some will travel home from towns and cities. Others will travel to see the bright lights of Lae and Port Moresby. Many will have stayed where they are. 

Cost of transportation and accommodation are very high. They may not be able to get through the holiday if they had not stayed back. One group of public servants are finding it really tough – the teachers. Their sentiments are shared on PNG Teachers on Facebook, a group of over 2500 teachers in the country. 

Unlike other public servants; teachers are poorly paid, overworked and often neglected at this time of the year. One of the main concerns they raised online was delay in Leave Fares. Though it is mandatory that eligible teachers are given their leave fares, the delay has been chronic and remains a yearly occurrence. 

Another yearly problem that affects our teachers is timely release of Boarding and Duty Allowances. Any teacher who does boarding duties throughout the year is entitled to this allowance. Why have many cry foul over non-payment? 

When Dr Puka Temu announced a Christmas Gift for the hard working members of parliament in November 2013, he also declared 7.5% increase for general public servants pay with a 2.5% concurrent increase to 2016. The MPs got their 7 % increase backdated to January 1st of 2013 are enjoying the other increases this year, too . But, the question of whether other public servants got their promised increment remains to be answered.

Teachers are not able to determine their pay grade. This is simply because many of them, especially the new graduates and teachers in remote locations, have not got their pay slips. Some may not even know what a pay slip looks like as they have never got one. 

So, how much are the teachers paid? The salaries are calculated by adjusting to a midpoint salary. In other words, an average is calculated from Pay Grades 1 to 12. The averages for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are K21 000, K23 100 and K25 410 respectively. This gives an impression of a total increase of 30% (7.5% x 3 yrs + 2.5% x 3 yrs) That means that the government would have been paying the teachers a 10% compounded increment between 2014 and 2016. That is a good news for teachers. 



Click here for teachers' pay structure. The challenge now is to ensure the government remains true to its promise to underpaid teachers. Teachers’ representatives from PNG Teachers Association have to highlight problem areas. There is never a better time to do it, than now. 

Put a stop to delays teachers face with getting their leave fares, ensure they get their boarding and duty allowances on time and get their pay slips to them where ever they are. Above all, the pay increments have to be evident in teachers’ pay. Have they got the increases for 2013 and 2014?