24 Sep 2002

Solomons teachers expect some wage arrears to be paid this afternoon

5:36 pm on 24 September 2002

Teachers in Solomon Islands are expecting some of their outstanding wages to be paid this afternoon, but their union says there is no guarantee they will assist with the national examinations beginning tomorrow.

The teachers returned to work this week after ten weeks of action in protest at the government's failure to pay them on time.

Their union, the Solomon Islands National Teachers Association, or SINTA, says they are now owed six weeks wages.

Fred Taika, the general secretary of SINTA, says he has been advised by the Education Minister that a payment for a fortninght of wage arrears should be made by three this afternoon.

But he says the union does not have control over the teachers and it is difficult to say if this payment will satisfy them.

"...I am confident that there will be one pay today. The ministry of finance is working on that. But if there is no pay today, the teachers will resort to boycott the examination, inspite of the fact that sinta made agreed to go ahead with the examination."

Fred Taika.