Singh: Teachers still affected by board

THE Fiji Teachers Union says it is still waiting for a response from the Ministry of Education for the repayment of thousands of dollars lost by teachers who were allegedly disciplined by the now defunct Disciplinary Services Board.

FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh claimed six teachers, who were previously demoted or terminated during the tenure of the DSB — and before it was disbanded in December last year, had been slapped with the same charges under the ministry’s normal disciplinary procedures.

“There are at least six teachers who received charges again after several months,” he claimed.

“They have been reinstated but those thousands of dollars that they lost after being demoted or terminated is still yet to be paid back to them and that’s a big shame.

“The least the ministry could have done was to turn a new leaf and let them continue teaching in their professional career.

“They have punished them once and now they want to punish for a second time.”

Mr Singh said the board was disbanded by the Ministry of Public Services last year after a complaint by the union.

“The board was disbanded through a directive of the Minister of Public Service in December because he clearly stated that this board was unconstitutional and illegal and that’s why through that directive these teachers were reinstated.

“But the teachers are still being victimised because they are being recharged under the normal disciplinary procedures.

“The fact is that these teachers have already suffered for several months.”

FTU national president Muniappa Goundar said the ministry had totally disregarded the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

“The right of representation was also denied,” he said about the disbanded board.

A transcript of the entire interview with Mr Singh was sent to Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy via email but he did not wish to comment on the issues raised by the union.

Source:  The Fiji Times

By:  Repeka Nasiko