24 Nov 2008

French Polynesia's unions meet over French pension

10:29 am on 24 November 2008

French Polynesia's public sector unions will meet again today to discuss the French pension reforms before deciding whether to end their nearly two-week strike.

Schools, the Papeete port and the courts are among the places affected by the action which was called a week before the French senate met and voted to cut future entitlements for those retiring outside mainland France.

A French Polynesian union delegation which joined talks with French officials in Paris last week is to report to their Tahiti colleagues this afternoon to discuss their next step.

The French high commissioner, Adolphe Colrat, says time has come to move forward.

The French government has approved a phased reduction in the pension top-ups to 17,000 euros a year for those retiring from next year but exempted teachers in a bid to stave off mass resignations before the end

of this year.

To qualify for a top-up overseas, a French public servant now needs to have worked there for at least 15 years.