The PNG Teaching Service Commissioner says he will seek legal advice against a defamatory report that ran in a local newspaper. He is aggrieved by the report which stated that there are “criminal syndicates” linked to authorities responsible for teachers pay. Acting TSC chairman, Samson Wangihomie says according to the report, PNG Teacher’s Association (PNGTA) president Aita Sanangkepe was quoted as saying the former executives had created a criminal syndicate linked to the TSC, the Finance and the Education departments.
“The above statement is a very serious, defamatory and damaging made by Mr Sanangkepe,” Mr Wangihomie said. He said he is unhappy with the report, which indicated his alleged involvement. “By naming me, he has tarnished my reputation as a person and as a career officer. He has tarnished and defamed my character and has caused damages to me as a person thus branding me as corrupt and a criminal,” Mr Wangihomie said. “I now call upon Mr Sanangkepe to provide evidence beyond doubt that the TSC, the Finance and Education Departments and other former executives of PNGTA have created a criminal syndicate which is making unauthorised pay cuts for teachers.” He has called on the PNGTA and the newspaper to retract the defamatory statement made against all concerned parties. Mr Wangihomie’s statement comes after the new executive of PNGTA was told by the commision to put their house in order before they could welcome them with discussions on teachers issues. Currently there are six cases before the courts, disputing PNTGTA’s election and their legal right to occupy office. He stated that TSC had never ignored teacher’s plight and has always provided critical oversight of all matters relating to their terms and conditions of service and welfare. According to Mr Wangihomie, to date no teacher has written to TSC or payroll to raise issues with the so called paycuts. When asked about the recent cuts experienced by teachers, Mr Wangihomie said they have no explanations to those cuts and that teachers are supposed to raise these matters through the payroll division. “Teachers were asked to contact their provincial salaries officers, inspectors and TSC if they had any pay queries. To date, no teacher has contacted TSC or the Education Department payroll division,” he said. He said there have been no unauthorised pay cuts and that teachers were experiencing in 2019 the implementation of the Consumer Price Index for teachers which ceased on pay number 14. “I now ask Mr Sanangkepe and his team to provide evidence of unauthorised pay cuts made to members of PNGTA, who are employed by the education divisions including the Department of Education,” he said . PNGTA, who are employed by the education divisions including the Department of Education,” he said.
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