National Federation Party - Fiji
Acting contracts to teachers not automatically renewed
December 01, 2017
The security of employment of teachers who were forced to enter into contracts that legislated acting appointments for their positons is now in jeopardy as they will not have their acting appointments automatically renewed with revelations that their positions will be advertised.
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad said substantive post holders who were first relegated to a lower rank and then re-appointed on acting basis to their substantive post despite having served as Principals, Head Teachers and Heads of Department for many years, are now facing an uncertain future due to the draconian civil service reforms.
“In a circular dated 17th November 2017, the Permanent Secretary for Education states that all post holders in the education fraternity will be advertised including Heads (Principals) of all Primary and Secondary Schools.
Professor Prasad said when the NFP exposed this issue in August the Attorney General and Minister for Civil Service had downplayed the issue by saying all contracts would be automatically renewed.
“According to the circular the applications close on 5th January 2018. Assessments under the so-called Open Merit Recruitment System will start early February 2018 and new appointments will commence at the start of the 2nd school term on 7th May 2018”.
Other positions that will be advertised are Director Technical College and Heads of Technical College Campuses.
“The circular also states that other positions, presumably Heads of Department (HOD) will be advertised in April for commencement at the start of 3rd school term on 27th August”
“The teaching fraternity has been exploited and held to ransom by the current Government, which forced them to enter into discriminatory contracts under the pretext of offering them salary increases”.
“Principals, Vice Principals, Heads of Department (HOD), Head Teachers, Assistant Head Teachers and other post holders were demoted to a lower rank and then offered acting appointments to the substantive positions they previously held”.
“Teachers who held substantive positions were first appointed to a rank lower than the position they were holding, and then given a second contract offering them an acting contract to the position they held substantially and an acting salary of 95% of the substantive salary”.
“We cited contracts of several teachers to confirm the exploitation and discriminatory nature of the contract”.
“Worse of all, all contracts render meaningless the teachers’ employment security and make them totally subservient to Government”.
“This discriminatory and exploitative contractual employment that is being forced upon our teachers will not result in a harmonious, unified and productive civil service”.
Such draconian contracts are subjugating our teachers and have no place in a genuine democracy. An NFP Government will revoke the contracts and restore permanent tenure of employment.
Professor Biman Prasad NFP Leader
Encl: MOE Circular
NFP Leader- Teachers acting appointment contracts advertised