16 Feb 2004

Opposition MP in Solomons calls for RAMSI to be flexible over pay award

12:01 pm on 16 February 2004

An Opposition MP in Solomon Islands says the the Regional Assistance Mission must show flexibility if there's to be a solution to the pay-rise impasse.

Public sector unions in Solomon Islands are locked in a months-long stalemate with the Government and Ramsi over pay and cost-of-living increases.

Alfred Sasako says the Government reached an agreement with the unions over pay without consulting Ramsi, which they were legally required to do.

But, he says the Government cannot back down on its still unsigned pay pledge to union members, who do need a pay rise.

And, he says the only hope for a resolution must come from Ramsi, which has opposed any back-dating of the 2 point five percent pay rise given by the Government and doesn't want a promised 8 percent cost of living adjustment yet.

"Really, in my view, the key is now with Ramsi, whether they show any degree of flexibility. That will break the impasse, but if it's not I don't see any way out because I think the Government has cocked up the whole thing."

Alfred Sosako says Ramsi could agree to the cost of living adjustment being paid over a number of years.