Give us 30 percent, we do not want anything less says FTU

May 29, 2024 4:46 pm

Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary Muniappa Goundar says teachers have been crying for better pay and working conditions for many years, and their pleas have all been falling on deaf ears.

Speaking to FBC News, Goundar described the move by the majority of parliamentarians to pass the report by the emolument committee to increase the salary and allowances for MPs as shocking and a sign of self-serving by those in power.

He says teachers have not seen a meaningful adjustment to their pay since 2014, which was just a small increase by the previous administration.
Goundar says what happened last Friday represents a grave injustice to educators.

He adds teachers had to understand the reasoning of the coalition government when it offered nothing for them in the last budget, but for parliamentarians to approve the increase in their own salaries and allowances is a surprise.

Article continues after advertisement

“The rationale given at that time was the substantial national debt, so to some extent we said yes, but again, after one and a half years, the national interest that they were talking about has succumbed to personal interest by the very same policy maker.”

Goundar says the government needs to retain teachers and FTU demands a 30 percent pay increase to be able to do this.

“That is our demand; we do not want anything less; they’ve taken an average of 66 percent, and we request from them and demand from them that they pay 30 percent to our teachers.”

Goundar adds that although the FTU has made its submission to the Ministry of Finance for the upcoming budget, they remain concerned that the Ministry has not done any consultation with them or the Fijian Teachers Association.

He says that in the event their demands are not met, they will take legal action and will not rule out taking industrial action, adding that they will ensure they abide by the processes.