Education Ministry in talks for teachers' salary review - Radrodro

Education Ministry in talks for teachers' salary review - Radrodro

By Marika Rasekaseka
Wednesday 05/06/2024
Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro.

The Ministry of Education is already in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance to accommodate teachers' salary review to allow for right fitting and proper, fair and justified salaries.

Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro highlighted this while responding to the questions asked by fijivillage News regarding the concerns raised by the Fiji Teachers Union and the Fijian Teachers Association on what action will they take to ease the concerns faced by the teachers.

He says teachers, like all civil servants, had their last pay increment during the civil service reform with the Job Evaluation in 2017 and during this reform, the teachers’ pay was reclassified from the ED grade to Bands which is currently in force. This was done across the civil service, where positions were evaluated.

The 2017 salary band did not take into consideration the role of the school as a determinant of the level of the school which in turn had a bearing on the salary of the post holders in the school. For instance, the salary of a Vice Principal in a small school with 100 students is the same as that of a Vice Principal in a large school with 1000 students. The Assistant Principal positions are classified in the same salary band H as the Head of Departments in Secondary schools, despite having different job descriptions.

Radrodro says the Permanent Secretary for Education has briefed him that in February this year, during the MOE Regularisation exercise, a total of 1420 staff were confirmed in their positions with a total payout of $1.06 million.

He says additionally, salary step-up adjustments consisting of 739 Early Childhood Education teachers, 3993 primary and secondary assistant teachers, and 152 non-teaching were also given out with a total allocation of $3.0 million.

He adds that the ministry has noted the high level of resignations by teachers as they pursue a career outside Fiji and believes these issues can be resolved and they will continue to advocate for all teachers that they get their owed salary and all accompanying allowances they are entitled to.

Radrodro wishes to assure all teachers that in responding to their cries, he has initiated discussions with the Teacher Unions from last year in recognition of the need to invest in them to provide them with salaries that recognize the importance of the role they play in educating our children and providing Fiji with a workforce for our future.

Meanwhile, the Fijian Teachers Association and Fiji Teachers Union say their demand remains the same with the 30 percent increase in teachers' salaries in comparison to an average of 66 percent that the politicians are getting.

Fiji Teachers Union Spokesperson Muniappa Goundar says the teachers have not got what they are supposed to get for the past 17 years.

He says this is the time they must get together to see that the teachers get what they rightfully deserve.

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