Education

Government cautious amid demand for pay raise

June 17, 2024 1:20 pm

Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad

Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says the government will carefully consider any allocation for a raise in pay for the civil service.

This is in response to the discontentment expressed by the Fiji Teachers Union and Fijian Teachers Association over their meet held last Friday.

The two teachers’ union have stated that their recent meet reached a stalemate, as it failed to yield any substantive outcome.

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The Finance Minister says the Coalition Government had assured that it will review the civil service in the last budget, and it has already undertaken some work.

Professor Prasad says the Education Ministry has already undertaken a step movement in some of the salaries for teachers, which amounted to $7 million.

“The new government, the coalition government in the last 18 months, has been dealing with not only some of the mess left by the previous government in education, but in many other areas. So that’s the first thing that they have recognized. And the second thing that he talked about was the debt situation.”

Professor Prasad says the government is considering a pay rise for civil service, but it is still working out the quantum which will be announced in the upcoming budget.

He says there was no stalemate as claimed by FTU and FTA.

Professor Prasad further says the fact that the unions were invited to speak with the Finance Ministry is a change in itself over the last 16 years, adding that they are happy to continue with the dialogue.

The Finance Minister hopes for understanding from the teachers’ union, and their cooperation will be able to resolve pending issues in future.

Meanwhile, the FTU and FTA will continue to pursue a secret ballot, awaiting approval of their application submitted to the Employment Ministry.