Thursday, 8 November 2007 1:10 PM

SINTA Gives Govt Notice to Respond

The Solomon Islands National Teachers Association has put a 14 days notice for the Solomon Islands Government to act upon the letters of honor that SINTA had sent.

The issue is on teachers' allowances that have not been paid by the government at the end of September and the month of July.

In an interview, the Industrial Relation Officer of SINTA, Mr. John Lee Hatimoana, said that the government is yet to make payment of three allowances to the teachers.

"The government has not yet paid the Inducement, Boarding and Extra allowances, plus some of the long service allowances," said Mr. Hatimoana.

He said that those who have resigned had not received their allowances and their redundancy package that should have been paid for by the government.

Mr. Hatimoana said the government has, on many occasions, been approached on the issue but there has been no response to SINTA's concerns.

"This shows that the government is not honoring the teachers' rights," he said.

Mr. Hatimoana said that government had already re-leveled allowances to 70% of the teachers, and 20% of the teachers should now move to higher levels but the government has, instead, de-leveled their allowances without any paid notice.

"We are also asking the government to re-level allowances of the remaining 10% by the end of November," he said.

It was revealed that the government had also refused to pay teachers' salary arrears "and this whole issue becomes a major problem for the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association".

"The government's lack of response to our letters of honor has given us little option but to give the 14 days notice to respond, and the deadline is next week," Mr. Hatimoana said.

He said that despite arrangements for a meeting with the Ministry of Education to discuss the issue, there has been no response from the ministry.

Mr. Hatimoana said engagement of the Global Lawyers is in place to take the matter to court if the government does not respond within the 14 days notice.