Sacked ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cers re­quest PM grant them re­turn

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Ch­heng

CAM­BO­DIAN Con­fed­er­a­tion of Unions (CCU) pres­i­dent Rong Ch­hun on Tues­day re­quested that Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen al­low him and 10 other ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cers to re­turn to work at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

The 11 teach­ers, in­clud­ing Ch­hun him­self, were sacked by the min­istry in Jan­uary over ac­cu­sa­tions they took time off work with­out per­mis­sion to take up other jobs.

The ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials con­cerned in­clude teach­ers from Kam­pong Cham, Preah Si­hanouk, Prey Veng, Siem Reap, Kam­pot and Bat­tam­bang prov­inces.

Ch­hun said in a let­ter to the prime min­is­ter that they had been sacked in an “un­just” fash­ion.

“For all the ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials [con­cerned], they did not make the mis­takes the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ac­cuses them off,” the let­ter reads.

The let­ter said the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion went against a sub-de­cree al­low­ing staff to work out­side their stated in­sti­tu­tions and by­laws con­cern­ing civil ser­vants when ter­mi­nat­ing their em­ploy­ment.

Ch­hun told The Post on Wed­nes­day that the In­de­pen­dent Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (CITA) had pre­vi­ously writ­ten a let­ter re­quest­ing the in­ter- ven­tion of the prime min­is­ter but had heard noth­ing. He said that CITA and CCU had also sought the as­sis­tance of rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional NGOs.

Ch­hun said the ter­mi­na­tions were a re­sult of po­lit­i­cal bias as he was a for­mer Na­tional Elec­tion Com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Supreme Court-dis­solved Cam­bo­dia Na­tional Res­cue Party (CNRP).

The other 10 teach­ers con­cerned were also op­po­si­tion coun­cil mem­bers at the com­mune, dis­trict and provin­cial lev­els, he said.

“I think it would be easy for the prime min­is­ter to solve this prob­lem be­cause it is not con­nected to a court case. This case falls un­der his [ex­ec­u­tive] pow­ers as the ter­mi­na­tions were con­nected to pol­i­tics.

“The other teach­ers and I had stopped work­ing at other places, and we can re­quest to work back at our old in­sti­tu­tions. The law al­lows us to come back to our old place when we fin­ish work at a new place,” he said.

In March, two in­ter­na­tional unions, in­clud­ing the In­ter­na­tional Trade Union Con­fed­er­a­tion (ITUC) and Ed­u­ca­tion In­ter­na­tional (EI), re­quested the min­istry to re­hire the sacked teach­ers.

Min­istry spokesman Dy Kam­boly said it had not yet re­ceived the let­ter.

HENG CHIVOAN

Cam­bo­dian Con­fed­er­a­tion of Unions (CCU) pres­i­dent Rong Ch­hun speaks at an event in Jan­uary.

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