21 Oct 2005

Fiji arbitration award opens way for COLA for public servants

3:42 pm on 21 October 2005

The umbrella body representing Fiji's public sector unions says yesterday's arbitration award opens up the way for Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA, payments for 2003 and 2005.

The government arbitrator, William Callancinni, has given more than 20,000 public servants a COLA award costing more than 18-million US dollars.

Mr Callancinni ruled that the government's Performance Management System (PMS) did not promote equity in pay determination, lacks objectivity, the criteria are not easily measured and it is confusing and cumbersome.

He said the purpose of the Cost of Living Adjustment was to minimise the erosion of the living standards of workers brought about by inflation, and was not a reward based on productivity.

The chairman of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Rajeshwar Singh, has told Radio Legend that the ruling has opened the way for public servants to receive COLA payments for 2003 and 2005.

Mr Singh says they are confident that the decision on the 2003 COLA payment, which is currently before the Appeal Court, will be in their favour as well the negotiations currently under way for this year's 5% COLA claim