Job Evaluation Soon, Says A-G

Government will roll out a job evaluation exercise soon as part of its civil service reform. This will ensure among other things, that civil servants’ terms and conditions including salaries,
29 Oct 2016 14:18
Job Evaluation Soon, Says A-G
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (sixth from left), shakes hands with General Secretary, Fiji Public Service Association Rajeshwar Singh, during a meeting with representatives from the Confederation of Public Sector Unions yesterday. Photo: Office of the Attorney-General

Government will roll out a job evaluation exercise soon as part of its civil service reform.

This will ensure among other things, that civil servants’ terms and conditions including salaries, are in alignment as per international standards with the private sector.

And, in a departure from the traditional union demands of across the board pay increase, the exercise will focus also on how specialists within respective fields are rewarded accordingly.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday met union representatives under the Confederation of Public Sector Unions’ umbrella and updated them on the way ahead on the reforms.

More importantly, this Government initiative will correct the wrongs of decades that career civil servants had to put up with.

Following the meeting which both parties described as fruitful, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum informed the media how Government has planned to ensure that civil servants were not left behind and that Government was going to roll out a job evaluation exercise.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said following a recent benchmarking exercise, it was revealed that while the entry level salary in some positions were better than the private sector, in the long run the civil servants ‘benefits were easily outweighed by those employed in the private sector.

“As a choice employer and, we believe that Government needs to be a choice employer, we need to be able to benchmark ourselves and be able to pay something that is relatively commensurate with what is being paid in the private sector,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He highlighted that issues such as training, providing the right environment and terms and conditions, developing career paths and personal development were also important.

“It is also in our interest to ensure that we do not lose good people from the civil service and civil servants feel motivated. Within this context we must also, however, ensure that productivity in the civil service increases exponentially.”

In attendance at the meeting were: Gauna Halofaki, President, Fijian Teachers Association,  Salanieta Matiavi General Secretary, Fiji Nursing Association, Rajeshwar Singh, General Secretary, Fiji Public Service Association, Agni Deo Singh General Secretary, Fiji Teachers Union, Alfred Manuel General Secretary,  National Union of Public Workers and Bua Vuli SIRO, FPSA.


Job evaluation exercise:

This exercise will bring forward a departure from the traditional way of Union thinking and bargaining- which has been often a demand for an across the board pay increase.

Instead, Government is focusing on how people specialised in their fields are taken care of as well and suitably remunerated.

“This exercise will be able to help us differentiate that and be able to recognise civil servants who are high performers also.

“We look forward to the co-operation of the public sector unions as we said, we have had very positive discussions.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum gave the example of the recent increase of up to 80 per cent given to doctors in the country. The increase was not 80 per cent across the board for all doctors. Those who were specialists were paid accordingly.

He also highlighted the need for specialist nurses to be paid accordingly, rather than all being on the same scale.

“Similarly, with the nurses, there are some nurses who are highly qualified, they are specialised in areas whether they help doctors in angiogram etc, they obviously cannot be treated in the same way as nurses putting dressing on people’s knees.

Mr Singh said they looked forward to working with Government. He also highlighted some issues that they have, including a log of claims filed and a matter filed before the tribunal which he said would be discussed further with Government.

Government and the Confederation of Public Sector Unions will now meet on December 7 to discuss the progress of the job evaluation.

Currently, some 8000 positions are vacant in various Government ministries and departments and the savings from these can easily be passed onto uplifting the conditions on current civil servants through the job evaluation exercise.


Education Ministry

Some issues have also been raised with Government about the Education Ministry, which will be discussed between Government and the unions concerned next Friday at 10am.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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