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Permanent Secretary of Education in Trouble As FTU Mount Legal Action

The Permanent Secretary for Education Allison Burchell will probably face legal action after Fiji Teachers Union confirms to FBC News that the FTU lawyers are preparing legal papers to challenge a circular written by Burchell warning teachers not to take part in the FTUC protest this week.

The 2013 Constitution of Republic of Fiji assures Freedom of assembly through Chapter 18 of the Constitution.

18. (1.) Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, demonstrate, picket and to present petitions

Constitution of the Republic of Fiji

In a subject circular Permanent Secratery of Education intrsucted the teachers that if any Ministry employee participates in this proposed protest, having taken leave or being on your school break, your participation will still be unlawful and may be subject to possible disciplinary action or other legal action under a relevant law.

Circular from PS of Education instructing staff of the MOE not to participate in the protest

Though May 3rd 2019 falls during the school holidays, the PS for Education informs all Ministry staff the Ministry of Education says the May 3rd protest shall be unlawful.

While speaking to FBC News, Singh says that it is within the rights of the teachers to participate in the union activities.

The Protest

The Fiji Trades Union Congress will hold a nationwide protest next Friday on 3rd May and some affiliated unions even protesting before next Friday.

The FTUC National Secretary, Felix Anthony says the government needs to answer for any disruptions in any industry or to the historic Asian Development Bank meeting in Nadi next week.

The Trade Union Congress is now waiting for the approval of the permit for May 3rd protest from the Fiji Police Force.

Anthony says in the statement that they will continue raising their disappointment with government regarding the National Minimum Wage, Delay in Labour Law Reforms, Right to Strike, Vatukoula Strike, Unresolved Issues regarding the Federated Airlines Staff Association and Opposing the Imposition of Individual Contracts.     

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