23 Feb 2007

Tongan PM affirms that pay increases will stand

4:49 pm on 23 February 2007

The prime minister of Tonga, Dr Feleti Sevele, has assured public servants that huge pay rises given two years ago are not under threat.

Trade union groups in Tonga say the prime minister gave the impression during discussions in Vava'u recently that the 60, 70 and 80 percent wage rises given in 2005 would be taken away in June.

That is when an MOU between the public servants association and the government ends.

But Dr Sevele says the claims the rises will be done away are untrue.

"Whoever said that needs to have his head examined. I mean I never even discussed that. As far as government is concerned the 60, 70 and 80 percent rise that civil servants got a couple of years ago will continue, simple as that. Where they got their facts from I simply don't know, but that's typical of some of the guys here who are simply not telling the truth."

Dr Feleti Sevele