26 Jun 2002

New Caledonia teachers demonstrating over health scheme

4:34 pm on 26 June 2002

Teachers unions in New Caledonia are holding a demonstration in the streets of Noumea against plans to introduce a new compulsory health insurance scheme.

The march follows a week-long strike by five education unions which has left about 15,000 children without teachers.

Our correspondent, Tuo Chinoula, says the government is insisting that the scheme will be in place on July the 1st although the unions say some politicians may be open to negotiations.

"They managed to have a meeting with some Politicians who've been aware - they said that they were open to dialogue, that if they were certain things needed to be changed in Policy in the way, that they were set up, that they would do that, but that they would wait to negotiate until after everythings been put into place on July the first."

Members of the teachers' unions are opposed to the compulsory scheme because they say their premiums will go up while the cover will be worse.