24 Jul 2007

Teachers strike in Solomon Islands enters its second week

8:36 am on 24 July 2007

A nation-wide strike by six thousand Solomon Islands school teachers has entered its second week.

The National Teachers Association, SINTA, says it lacks confidence in the Finance Minister's assurance that the government is committed to paying the teachers' claim.

The teachers are frustrated that the government is yet to implement provisions agreed to in January, including re-leveling of the pay structure.

The Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says teachers should not force the government to make an illegal arrangement to pay for their claim of around 1 million US dollars.

He says they should wait for parliament to pass the supplementary appropriation bill 2007.

But SINTA's spokesman Johnley Hatimoana claims they have contacted the Public Accounts Committee and learnt there is no provision for their money in the budget.

"We just only hope that the government is coming up with something positive so that we could try and solve this problem once and for all. They vow to take the action until such a time that the government comes up with some payments, especially on the question of re-levelling and re-alignment of the teachers' salary."