FTU maintains stance on potential strike

June 16, 2024 4:59 pm

The Fiji Teachers Union has expressed discontentment over their recent meet with the Ministry of Finance, saying it failed to yield any substantive outcome.

FTU and Ministry of Finance representatives met on Friday, following the union’s notice for a secret ballot to the Ministry of Labour.

General Secretary, Muniappa Goundar says as the meet reached a stalemate, FTU members are prepared to exercise their democratic rights to ensure that their demands are met.

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“So, as it is now, we are still going on with our call for a mandate for secret ballot, and as it is, we are still going on with that. Looking at the exodus of teachers, it’s high time that the right budget allocation is given to the Ministry of Education, so that the Ministry of Education is able to retain teachers.”

Goundar says adequate pay should be a right for teachers, and they are not pleading but demanding for a fair salary that has eluded them for the past 17 years.

He says given the current improvement in the economy, they perceive the Finance Ministry’s inaction as a deliberate delay tactic to avoid enhancing the work condition for teachers.

Goundar says the argument that the nation’s debt prevents a reasonable increase in salary for teachers is indefensible, and the pretense of financial incapacity cannot justify the continued undervaluation of their vital contribution to shape the future of our children.

The General Secretary says it is imperative for the government to understand that teachers deserve equitable recognition of their pivotal role in society.

FTU remains firm in its decision to pursue all available avenues to secure the just salary for their members, and it will not relent until their demands are fulfilled.

FBC News has reached out to the Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad, but all attempts to obtain a comment on the matter have proved futile.