Thursday, December 8, 2011

New contract for temporary teachers is too unfair and must be reviewed.

Press Statement bissued in Ipoh on Thursday, December 08, 2011

New contract for temporary teachers is too unfair and must be reviewed.

There are roughly over 400 temporary teachers now in Perak. They are what is called the Guru Sandaran Tidak Terlatih (GSTT). Many of these teachers have been teaching for 3-4 years.

All these teachers who are teaching in Perak were recently asked to attend a briefing held on 25/11/11 in a school in Silibin, Ipoh.

At the briefing, they were told that all temporary teachers would be now employed on a “contract for service” basis instead of the traditional contact of service.

This change came as shock to the teachers present. The new contract entails new unfair terms which include among others:
1) No payment of EPF by the Government;
2) No payment of COLA;
3) Restricted medical coverage;
4) Daily paid instead of the previous monthly paid

Temporary teachers have made immense contribution to the nation, yet the government has decided to implement a new system which removes their right s, rather than protect them.

The change means the relationship of master and servant or employer /employee relationship is done away with and replaced with sort of a self employed relationship.

With this new arrangement , effective 17thNovember( last day of school) all temporary teachers will cease to be paid till December2011 unless the schools request them teachers to report to work and for that they will be paid daily.

I have been given to understand that at the briefing, top education officers form Putrajaya and Ipoh were present. The meeting was very tense and the temporary teachers felt their years of service had not been appreciated.

In fact during question time, many questions were posed by the temporary teachers who were shocked with the new terms and conditions. The meeting lasted for over 4 hours.

At the meeting, a top officer from Putrajaya retorted that the teachers should be “grateful” to the offer as the government had the discretion in not even providing or offering any employment.

How could an officer make such unfair and unacceptable comment?

He should be hauled up and given a tongue lashing by the Education Minister as not only the officer was rude but he had substantially damaged the name of the Ministry of Education.
Instead of asking the teachers to be grateful, the government should be thankful for their contribution to the nation.

To add insult to injury, the change was made without any prior consultation with the teachers.

It was recently reported that Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong had revealed that about 7000 temporary teachers were affected and that the move to restructure the contract of temporary teachers was because the Ministry had “insufficient funds”.

If truly the government is cash strapped, then the first thing it must do is for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to take pay cuts.

Wee‘s explanation is therefore unconvincing and in any case, insufficient funds cannot be a justification for introducing such unfair contract for the temporary teachers.

I urge the Ministry to review the unfair terms and to give appropriate opportunities for all the temporary teachers to be trained and be employed on a full term basis.

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