Salary structure overhaul for teachers discussed

February 23, 2024 7:08 am

[File Photo]

The government is actively working to improve teachers’ pay and normalize long-acting appointments in schools.

Public Service Commission Chair Luke Rokovada has mentioned this and says that the government through the Ministry of Civil Service and the Public Service

The commission is also focused on addressing the existing salary structure including various bands and steps within the bands.

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Efforts are underway to allow civil servants to move within the bands with ministries and departments authorized to initiate the process.

However, the government has imposed a cautious approach limiting adjustments to one step at a time within each band.

The longstanding issue of prolonged acting appointments especially prevalent in the education sector is also receiving attention.

Rokovada states that under the previous government, teachers were allowed to act in roles for extended periods without adequate resolution causing dissatisfaction.

The practice of halting acting appointments during school holidays further exacerbated the situation.

“We need to confirm people if they are qualified if they fulfil their criteria, that is the qualification, the experience then they should be confirmed for the job.”

Rokovada highlighted the need to address these long-acting appointments within a year to minimize dissatisfaction and frustration among teachers.

Despite initial objections from two teacher unions, ongoing consultations between senior officials from the Education Ministry and the unions are addressing concerns.

The unions had initially expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of consultation but have since engaged in discussions as the reform exercise progresses.

Fijian Teachers Association General Secretary Paula Manumanunitoga emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive pay rise for teachers advocating for an increase of at least 19 per cent across the board.