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Teacher Unions file dispute against Education ministry

July 4, 2017 5:57 pm

Two teacher representatives, the Fiji Teachers Union and the Fijian Teachers Association have filed a dispute with the Ministry of Labour against the Education Ministry.

Both organisations are unhappy with the Ministry for putting a condition that all permanent staff must sign a five year contract before they are given the salary increase as announced in the 2017/2018 National Budget last week.

The circular states that teachers are eligible for the 14.3 percent salary increase following a job evaluation exercise, however in order to receive the pay rise, a signature on the new contract is a must.

FTU General Secretary, Agni Deo Singh, says this is simply blackmailing.

”In our opinion this is actually against the law and it is against all employment ethics, it is very unfair ethic practise by the largest employer in the government. We find it very unreasonable.”

The circular also states those who refuse to sign the contract will not receive any salary increase.

Singh says all the teachers are permanent staff and they should not be forced to sign new contracts.

”The Labour law requires that the employer under the rule of collective bargaining addresses all employment matters with the representative union if any change was to be brought about to any existing terms and conditions of the unions.”

FTU has written to the Education Ministry informing them about unstable and insecure working terms and conditions for teachers which according to Singh, has fallen on deaf ears.

Education Ministry is yet to respond on this issue.