Suspension of Certification Allowance for Studying Lecturers Questioned

Gunawan A. Tuada and Abdul Kadir B. attending the preliminary hearing of the judicial review of Law No. 14 of 2005 on Teachers and Lecturers virtually, Thursday (11/24/2022). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

Thursday, November 24, 2022 | 21:46 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Gunawan A. Tuada and Abdul Kadir B., civil servants (PNS) at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, challenged Article 51 paragraph (1) along the phrase “In carrying out professional duties” in Law No. 14 of 2005 on Teachers and Lecturers to the Constitutional Court (MK). They believe it to be against Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. The preliminary hearing for case No. 111/PUU-XX/2022 was presided over by Constitutional Justices Saldi Isra, Arief Hidayat, and M. Guntur Hamzah took place in the plenary courtroom on Thursday, November 24, 2022.

Article 51 paragraph (1) of the Teacher-Lecturer Law reads, “In carrying out professional duties, a lecturer shall have the right to: a. earn income above the minimum life necessities and social welfare insurance; b. get promotions and awards according to work assignments and achievements; c. obtain protection in carrying out duties and intellectual property rights; d. obtain the opportunity to improve competence, access to learning resources, information, learning facilities and infrastructure, as well as research and public community service; e. have academic freedom, academic platform, and scientific autonomy; f. have freedom in giving assessments and determining student graduation; and g. have the freedom to associate in professional organizations/scientific professional organizations.”

The Petitioners revealed a concrete case in which the a quo article was implemented as temporary suspension of payment of professional allowances for lecturers from 2009 to 2022. As a result, the Petitioners lost their financial rights while pursuing further studies at a number of higher education institutions in Indonesia while taking study leave. This interpretation is not based on the best interests of lecturers taking study leave, especially those who are currently or will be pursuing further studies at their own expenses entirely or partially or on a scholarship even though they still have some workload for their position. Ideally, as long as they have workload for their lecturing position, they deserve lecturer certification allowances.

“A lecturer professional allowance is income that should be the right of lecturers as specified in Article 51 paragraph (1) letter a and Article 52 paragraph (1) of the Teacher and Lecturer Law, so its payment cannot be temporarily stopped just because of a policy that does not have any explicit regulation in statutory laws and regulations, especially since the lecturers in question are pursuing doctoral studies, which clearly requires a large amount of money,” explained Abdul, one of the Petitioners.

Justices’ Advice

In response to this petition, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah advised the Petitioners to elaborate on the types of allowances, especially those taking study leave, and to include institutions that provide allowances for lecturers who are taking study leave. “Also include documents that prove that there is such a policy in relevant ministries and institutions,” he said to the Petitioners, who attended the hearing virtually without any legal counsel.

He also requested that the lecturer workload (BKD) be attached as evidence of the implementation of the system, to show that lecturer completed their workloads and carried out study assignments in class. Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat stated that study leave and study permits were different things. He hoped they would describe the differences in treatment for civil servants taking those two, as well as their duties and benefits.

“Therefore, please review whether this article has truly resulted in discrimination by the institution implementing the implementing provisions based on ministerial regulations. Also differentiate between the regulations of the Minister of Education, the Minister of Religious Affiairs, and the Minister of Home Affairs in relation to allowances for studying lecturers,” he explained.

Furthermore, Constitutional Justice Saldi Isra advised the Petitioners to develop reasonable and logical legal arguments to support the notion that the a quo norm is contrary to the 1945 Constitution.

“The Petitioners’ task is now to provide arguments that are reasonable, logical, and academically acceptable. If it doesn't comply with what you asked for, then it violates the provisions of Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. That must be explained clearly,” he said.

Before ending the session, Justice Saldi said the Petitioners had 14 workdays to finalize their petition. The revised petition is to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 11:00 WIB.

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : M. Halim
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 11/28/2022 10:42 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Thursday, November 24, 2022 | 21:46 WIB 218