FTU pushes for pay raise for ECE teachers

June 3, 2024 6:35 am

The Fiji Teachers Union is advocating salary adjustments for early childhood teachers as the country anticipates a new national budget.

FTU General Secretary Muniappa Goundar says they are asking for an increase in pay, and this has been submitted in their proposal to the Ministry of Finance.

He adds that along with this is a request to extend their working hours.

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Goundar says talks of increasing pay for ECE teachers have been ongoing for a while; only this time, FTU feels that it is deserving given that Members of Parliament have given themselves a pay raise.

“They are known for laying the foundation for future learning, and they deserve the full day of compensation. We have been having talks with the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry is in favor, but the thing is, the Ministry of Finance must give us that budgetary allocation so that we are able to have these kindergarten teachers in the schools until 3.30, just like primary school teachers.”

Goundar says employing ECE teachers for a full day at work will build capacity and expand the services of the teachers.

“For kindergarten, the preparation time is very important—the afternoon session that can be used for the ECE teachers to do the necessary preparation for the following day.”

Education Permanent Secretary Selina Kuruleca has told FBC News that they are looking into improving the work conditions for ECE teachers in the upcoming budget; however, only time will tell if this increase will become a reality when the budget is announced later this month, on the 28th.