7 Jan 2009

Suspended Fiji principal vows to keep teacher unionist's role

3:37 pm on 7 January 2009

The president of Fiji's Teachers Association says he will continue to speak on behalf of teachers, despite his suspension as Principal of Nasinu Secondary School.

Tevita Koroi was suspended from his position, and told it was because of statements he made against the interim regime.

A statement from the interim education minister, Filipe Bole, says political statements are strictly beyond the boundaries of Mr Koroi's status as a public servant, and the FTA has been advised to use its own employees as political spokespersons.

Mr Koroi says he hasn't been told exactly which statement was in the wrong, but anything he said would have been in his capacity as head of the Teachers Association.

"I am supposed to represent the membership who give me a mandate to speak on their behalf on issues with regards to matters that relate to their position on national issues and I have been doing it since I was elected, and I haven't had any problems with that, and previous governments have always acknowledged that."

Tevita Koroi says he has spoken to his lawyers about the matter.