26 Jul 2006

Fiji Institute of Technology staff strike enters second day

10:24 am on 26 July 2006

A strike by almost 400 academic and administrative staff of the Fiji Institute of Technology enters its second day today with lectures in hundreds of courses badly disrupted.

The staff are demanding Cost of Living Adjustments similar to those given by the government to public servants which the director of the institute, Kolinio Meo, has refused to negotiate.

Protesting staff stood outside the 4 campuses of the FIT yesterday holding placards which said that the FIT had recently paid its senior managers a 13% salary increase and demanding justice.

Only a handful of lecturers who are members of the indigenous Fijian Teachers Association have not joined the strike and continued to teach a few students.

Meanwhile, nearly one thousand of the 1100 students at Vunimono High School near Nausori stayed away yesterday despite a ministry of education directive for them to return.

The acting manager of the school, Anand Sharma, says two previous administrators who had abused funds had been fired and all documents about accounts had been given to the ministry.

Mr Sharma says despite this, the education ministry has not given a single cent of the more than 17-thousand-500 US dollars owed for the running of the school since the beginning of the year.