12 Mar 2009

Fiji teachers call for staggered introduction of retirement age reduction

2:47 pm on 12 March 2009

Teachers in Fiji are calling on the interim government to stagger the introduction of a lower retirement age.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the drop in the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 55, can go ahead.

The ruling overturned a High Court decision at the end of last year maintaining a retirement age of 60 after the interim government lowered it at the start of the year.

The General Secretary of the Fiji Teachers Union, Agni Deo Singh, which along with the Public Service Association took the case to the High Court, says the disadvantages are clear.

"If the ruling is put into effect immediately then around 10 percent of the teachers will have to retire, which is about 1000 and some very senior positions will become vacant and it will be difficult to find qualified people to fill in these positions."

However, Agni Deo Singh says the ruling is good for unemployed graduates.