The Public Service Tribunal has ruled partially in favour of a salary appeal, but has ordered only a small increase.
However, it said the ruling could not later be used as a precedent.
Eileen Elizabeth Fonua lodged an appeal against her starting salary following her appointment as Principal Fisheries Officer with the Ministry of Fisheries.
The Ministry determined that she be paid at the minimum point of $30,240 a starting salary.
Fonua argued that she should be paid a basic salary of $37,806 as this was being the closest entry point to her current salary on the recommended scale.
A former teacher, she worked as a Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Lands, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources.
She was then employed as national co-ordinator of a Marine and Coastal Biodiversity management scheme for the Ministry of Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.
There was extensive correspondence between Fonua and the Public Service Commission over her starting salary, with the PSC arguing that he was not entitled to a higher salary on the pay range for her new job.
It argued that regulations governing the potion did not allow her teaching experience to be taken into consideration because it was not deemed to be relevant to her new work.
In it finding, the Tribunal said there was no evidence of any offer and acceptance letter having been sent prior to Fonua’s appointment.
“This was a crucial step in the appointment process,” the Tribunal said.
“It would have prevented the appellant from making any claim if she had already accepted the terms and conditions of employment.”
The PTS said the result of this case was restricted to its own facts and could not be used as a precedent for future cases.
The Tribunal ruled that she should be paid $32,843 effective from the date she started work.
The main points
- The Public Service Tribunal has ruled partially in favour of a salary appeal, but has ordered only a small increase.
- However, it said the ruling could not later be used as a precedent.