10 Dec 2003

Solomons union says donors influence pay talks

11:32 am on 10 December 2003

The general secretary of the Solomon Island Public Employees Union says the government's position at the negotiating table is strongly influenced by aid donors.

The Trade Dispute Panel is currently hearing a dispute between the government and public servants over pay increases.

This follows a union demand for a 5 percent pay increase and a 20 percent cost of living allowance.

Clement Waiwori says the government has changed under pressure from aid donors, who are supporting the country's budget.

"But the government position has changed as it was before during the negotiating table. They were relying on the current government finances. The aid donors, World Bank, IMF, and the ADB advised there shouldn't be any wage increase from now until the next five years and they are relying more heavily on those arguments."

Clement Waiwori, SIPEU General Secretary.

The union says its workers have not received a pay rise since 1995.