Fiji Trades Union Congress National Secretary, Felix Anthony says they want the government to respect the unions and for the government to have consultations with unions on civil servants’ salaries and disciplinary issues regarding civil servants.
Anthony says they are disappointed with Minister for Education, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for saying in a circular to the teachers of the country that the unions are on a reckless misinformation campaign.
The FTUC National Secretary stresses that they do not want individual fixed term contracts for teachers and other civil servants in the country, and will continue to fight this.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said that teacher salaries are up an average of 12% and salaries for school administrator positions are up an average of 28%.
The Minister says for example, the maximum salary for Principals of large schools has increased from $50,700 to $110,400.
Anthony says this is not enough as there needs to be more salary increases and permanent contracts as he says that some teachers had pay reductions before the increments.
When Fijivillage highlighted that the choice was given to civil servants that those who will sign the new term contracts will be given the salary increases while others who don’t sign the term contracts can stay on the permanent contract and not get the increase, Anthony says that is not right.
Anthony says the government should hold negotiations with the teachers unions and they will then confirm how much salary increase they want for the teachers.
Meanwhile Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says unfortunately, unless the trade union heads have a sudden change of heart or are replaced, the reckless misinformation campaign that they are having, is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
In a circular released to all teachers around the country, the Minister for Education says in recent weeks, union bosses and some politicians have been irresponsibly misinforming the teachers to spread fear and confusion.
Sayed-Khaiyum stresses that the unions are falsely claiming that 2,000 teachers have been demoted.
He says the truth is that every single teacher in Fiji has received a pay rise after the Job Evaluation Exercise.
Sayed-Khaiyum says it is also a false claim that school heads and teachers have been fired for no reason.
He stresses that no one has been unjustly fired. He further says that teachers have only been disciplined or fired for sexual harassment, enforcing corporal punishment, or legitimate serious breaches of the Code Of Conduct.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.