Overdue Overtime Paid Out for 1,000 Educators

More than 1,000 teachers in Ban­­teay Meanchey province re­ceived 356 million riel ($89,000) on Fri­day, a day after a group of 40 teachers protested to provincial au­thorities over delayed pay the teach­ers say they have been owed since December.

Chhoeuy Channa, a provincial ed­ucation official, said Friday that high school and junior high school teachers received the money for overtime worked in October, No­vember and December of last year.

Provincial teachers can work ex­tra hours in rural areas, earning more pay by teaching at remote schools that do not have enough full-time teachers. Teachers do ex­tra work for 16 hours a week at high schools and 18 hours a week at junior high schools.

Chhoeuy Channa, chief accountant of the province’s accounting plan­ning office, said the teachers went unpaid until Friday because of “technical complications in ac­counting” and forms that were not sub­mitted on time.

But Rong Chhun, head of the Cam­­bodian Independent Teach­ers As­sociation, said that corruption played a major role in the de­lay.

“If teachers pay pleasant tips to the accountants or education officials, the officials would work faster to release money,” he said.

Rong Chhun said some education officials use public funds to lend money in markets, pocketing the interest and then returning the money to government coffers.

One teacher in Takeo province, who asked not to be named, said he also blamed corruption for slow payments to teachers.

He said he has not been paid for his extra teaching time since January, and usually when he does re­ceive his pay, 10 percent is deducted to pay the transportation expen­ses of education accountants.



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