1 Nov 2007

Industrial action by Fiji public sector unions looms

6:51 am on 1 November 2007

The threat of industrial action by some public sector unions in Fiji is looming again over the issue of the 5% pay cut imposed on public servants in March this year.

The interim government has agreed that 1% of that pay cut will be restored in December and backdated to March.

But it is reported to be not willing to give a timeline for the restoration of the remaining 4% or to backdate it to March.

The unions say their agreement was that provision for the restoration of that 4% would be included in the 2008 budget which will be announced on the 23rd of this month.

The general secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says they are willing to negotiate at any time including this weekend, but the government is treading on dangerous grounds.

The permanent secretary of the public service commission, Taina Tagicakibau, says there are situations in the economy that the government has to address.

She says it will be difficult to restore the 4% immediately and the matter has to be negotiated with no backdating of the pay already lost.