National, News

Only SSP 5,000 paid to us- teachers

By William Madouk


Teachers in Aweil disputed the report that they are fully paid their slashed salaries, saying only SSP 5,000 was paid to each tutor, which is far less than what they were originally supposed to be paid.

“What I can confirm is that the money payment started yesterday, but the money is not the total amount we were looking for; now they are paying SSP 5,000 each for all teachers in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State,” a grade five teacher who preferred his identity to remain unidentified for fear of reprisal told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper in an interview.

The source stated that amid confusion, the teachers are now split into two groups: those who accept to take the additional money and those who reject it in totality.

“I can say we are divided into two groups—some are receiving and some of us refuse to take that money. We shall see another way of taking that matter forward, and if need be, we will drag them to court,” he said.

“For instance, for those in grade 5, the money cut from them was SSP 19,000 because they were supposed to be paid 100+; now why are they giving SSP 5,000? Where is the rest of the money?” he inquired.

He claimed that the director for finance at the state ministry of education told them to receive that little amount and let the peace reign, and he assured them of full pay in the August salary.

“We were assured by the director of finance that this money you forgot them. That means there is something, and when we ask him, he refuses to clarify,” he continued.

He explained that teachers went to the UNMISS compound yesterday to protest the detention of their colleagues; however, the security, who seems to have succumbed to pressure, released four detained teachers.

“No one is in detention now, but they are still threatening us that unless we give up on our rights or else, you can see your colleagues being arrested again one by one,” he added.

Furthermore, the teacher alleged corruption and also added that all pensions and PITs are already deducted in Juba.

“Our money was brought to us in four boxes, but now it’s only a bag of sugar, which was brought to pay teachers, but when the money was initially brought, it was four boxes and one bag. What do you think?”

But Mr. Santino Bol Akol, the director general at the Ministry of Education in Aweil, said, “The [teachers’] balance was already paid out yesterday.”

Clarifying what transpired, Mr. Akol said they were the first to pay their staff using the payment structure sent by the national Ministry of Finance. Conversely, they later discovered stipend variance with that of the labour scale.

“When the committee moved from the Ministry of Education to another institution, that is where we found differences,” said Akol.

“Because other institutions were using structures from the national minister of labour and public services, there are slight differences in the pay sheet; there are different allowances in the grade,” he added.

Mr. Akol stated that when he realised that divergence, he directed admin and finance to settle the structure, and the balance would be paid accordingly as per the official circular from the Ministry of Labour.

“We have proof that there are differences; the committee has agreed that the difference will be paid because the right circular to be used is for the Ministry of Labour,” he noted.

“So, they say that after the payment, they will calculate and see how much the balance is for the Ministry of education, and then the money will be handed to us, and our balance was about $46 million,” Akol continued.

He explained that when the committee handed over the deduction to his docket, it included pensions and PITs, and as such, the state ministry of finance interfered in calculating and taking taxes.

“After a while, the Ministry of Finance officers came and asked for pensions and PITs to be given to them. On the process to calculate the pensions and PITs to be given to finance, which is where the problem came in,” he lamented.

“The teachers’ intention was that the deduction could not be taken by the ministry of finance, and the intention of the ministry of finance was the pension and PIT; that was how it happened.”

Akol also regretted the confrontation between the police and teachers, adding that such an incident should not repeat itself.

“There is no reason for the police to attack our teachers; that is something we discuss administratively with the police commissioner. It is not good for them to mistreat our teachers, but it has already happened, and we hope such mistreatment will not happen again.


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