8 Mar 2005

Almost all PNG University withdraw labour and demand that top staff be sacked in pay dispute

9:56 pm on 8 March 2005

A pay dispute at the University of Papua New Guinea, which has seen most teaching cancelled so far this week, may be escalating with unofficial reports the University of Goroka is joining the action.

308 staff at the UPNG's two campuses have already withdrawn labour, though they are still at work.

They have signed a petition demanding they be paid a wage settlement made to other public servants last year.

The President of the National Academic Staff Association, or NASA, Dr Pongie Kichawen, says they sought the view of the industrial registrar.

"The industrial registrar advised that since the payment of a wage increase to public servants was a government initiative and a government directive, then all government authorities have to pay."

The university staff want a four percent wage rise backdated to January 2004 and a one off payment of 211 US dollars.

Dr Kichawen says the university council is to meet tomorrow and they expect it to consider their demand that the vice chancellor, pro vice chancellor, the registrar and the bursar, resign, for failing to agree to the pay demand.