7 Aug 2007

Two Fiji unions may end their strike today

7:55 am on 7 August 2007

Two public sector unions in Fiji stand ready to call off their strike provided today's cabinet meeting endorses the agreement they have reached with the Public Service Commission.

The agreement centres on accepting the government's 1% pay restoration offer with the balance of the 4% to be addressed in the 2008 budget.

It also calls for the retention of the retirement age at 60 and the delayed restoration of the Partnership Agreement reached by the deposed government.

The general secretary of the Public Employees Union, Pita Delana, says they will call off their strike provided the cabinet endorses the agreement.

The general secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers, Taniela Tabu, says his members are prepared to accept similar conditions.

But the Fijian Teachers Association president, Tevita Koroi, says he does not want to comment on the agreement reached by the two other unions until he has consulted his executives.

Meanwhile, Fiji's Roman Catholic Church has called on the interim administration to listen carefully to the claims of its employees, especially nurses and teachers.

The head of the church, Archbishop Petero Mataca, says some careers in the civil service have a direct link to human existence and a way must be found to address the nurses' concerns without subjecting public health to disregard.