The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on April 22 rejected the appeal of 11 teachers against the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport’s decision to remove their names from the ministry’s employment list. However, the teachers maintain that the ruling is unjust.
On January 30 last year, Minister Hang Chuon Naron issued a notice deleting from the ministry’s employment list the names of 11 teachers in Phnom Penh and Battambang, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces.
The decision was made on grounds that they had been absent from their jobs without permission.
The civil judgement on April 22 said the court rejected the teachers’ complaints against the decision as they had exceeded the judicial timeframe and did not comply with the law.
The court ruled that the lawsuits contained several shortcomings, and therefore it had decided to reject the appeals in line with Article 81 of the Civil Code.
The court’s judgment said the plaintiffs in the complaint were 11 teachers, while the defendant was the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, represented by the minister.
After hearing of the ministry’s decision early last year, the 11 teachers held a series of protests at their individual institutions, before eventually filing lawsuits at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on January 16 this year.
They asked the court to reject the ministry’s decision and allow them to return to their jobs.
Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun insisted to The Post on Wednesday that the court’s verdict was unjust.
He said not only had the 11 lost their jobs but, even more unfairly, their names had been eliminated from the ministry’s employment list.
“The teachers cannot accept the court’s decision and we will talk to legal experts and find a lawyer to appeal the verdict.
“It’s our understanding that the court is professional and independent and is not under the influence of any politicians or powerful individuals, so we will receive justice,” Chhun said.
Meanwhile, on International Labour Day on Tuesday, three unions – the Cambodia Alliance of Trade Unions (Catu), the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (Cita) and the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions (CCTU) – and NGO the Federation of Cambodian Intellectuals and Students, issued a joint statement requesting the government return the teachers to their previous positions.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Y Rin said on Wednesday that the plaintiffs were at liberty to appeal the court’s judgment.
“The court’s decision is based on facts, reason and evidence in each case. If any party is not satisfied with the ruling, they can file an appeal to the higher court,” he said.