21 Feb 2007

Tongan teacher union worried about extended emergency

4:42 pm on 21 February 2007

The head of the Tongan teachers association has expressed concern at the inability of his movement to meet in the face of the extension of the state of emergency.

The privy council has decided to extend the emergency provisions until next month, precluding any meeting of more than four people.

The head of the Friendly Islands Teachers Association, Finau Tutone, says his members want to discuss their situation as they are concerned that promised pay increases may be dropped.

"The prime minister has already declared at Vava'u that by June the percentage of 60, 70, 80 will be cancelled and go back to the old chart."

Finau Tutone of the Friendly Islands Teachers Association in Tonga.

But a spokesman for the prime minister says the claims are incorrect.

Lopeti Senituli says the government is committed to the MOU with the public servants.