Gov’t Fails to Pay Teachers, Election Workers

The National Election Com­mit­tee’s secretary-general and an education official in Pailin prov­ince both said Monday that Ministry of Finance inaction has left their workers without wages owed to them for months.

NEC Secretary-General Tep Nitha said that 2,000 employees who completed the updating of the national voter registry in Oc­to­ber are owed a total of $150,000.

Tep Nitha said the 2,000 election workers were not budgeted for by the Ministry of Finance.

“We are facing a drought and the ministry is busy at the end of the year,” he said Monday.

He said that the Finance Min­istry has promised to pay the NEC clerks, trainers and typists before the end of January.

Chhuon Narung, president of Pai­lin’s chapter of the Cambodian In­dependent Teacher’s Asso­cia­tion, said that 300 teachers in Pai­lin are owed pay for the last 13 months. He said that while teachers received their base sa­laries for the period they did not re­ceive bonuses for serving in rural areas—a $10 monthly bonus that nearly doubles the teachers’ pay.

“With only the salary it is not enough for the teachers to survive,” he said. The average wage for teachers nationwide is be­tween $25 and $30 a month.

On Dec 29, teachers in Pailin en­gaged in a one-day strike pro­testing delays in payment of sa­lary and delays in payment of bonuses.

Pailin Education Department ac­countant Duong Sopheap said the de­partment owed the teachers bo­nuses but blamed the de­lay on the Ministry of Finance for not disbursing money promptly.

“I understand the teachers’ difficulties, but I do not know what to do since we do not have money,” she said, adding that the Ministry of Education had recently pro­mised $3,750 to pay the teachers in February.

Ministry of Finance Under­secretary of State Ngy Tayi de­clined to comment Monday on why money has not been transferred to the NEC or the Ministry of Education to pay their workers.


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