22 Dec 2007

Civil servants in Fiji could face further pay cuts

11:54 am on 22 December 2007

Civil servants in Fiji could face further pay cuts after the interim Government's plan to slash the civil service was quashed by the High Court.

Fiji's interim Public Enterprise Minister, Poseci Bune, told the Fiji Times this option would only be considered once all processes to appeal against a High Court decision were exhausted.

On Thursday Justice Filimoni Jitoko ruled against the Public Service Commission's decision to reduce the retirement age from 60 years to 55.

The reduction was made by the interim administration when it came into power after ousting the Laisenia Qarase Government.

Mr Bune said the High Court decision could result in the four per cent pay restoration being staggered.

Earlier this year, civil servants' salaries were slashed by five per cent.

Mr Bune says it has to review that and it is quite possible that it will have to look at further reduction in the salaries of civil servants.

He says reducing the retirement age would have saved the State millions of dollars annually.

But Fiji Public Service Association says Mr Bune was reacting to the court's decision, which stated that he was wrong.

It says his comment that there could be further pay cuts is out of line completely.