13 Feb 2007

Fiji unions to make new bid in face of cuts announced by new regime

5:00 pm on 13 February 2007

The General Secretary of the Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says the Confederation of Public Sector Unions will be taking a new proposal to the interim administration following the proposed pay cuts for public servants and introduction of an early retirement age.

Yesterday, the interim prime minister and military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said the moves would go ahead because of the need to cut back on spending.

But today, cabinet has been discussing the issue of reducing the retirement age from 60 to 55.

Mr Singh says some proposal might be forthcoming where they phase people out slowly rather than immediately and across the board:

"I think they will probably devise some method like those between 58 and 60 are given six months to clear out and down below may be another year to get out and I think things like that might happen."

Mr Singh says he hopes the cabinet decision will be released later today or tomorrow.