12 Sep 2002

Solomon Island civil servants defer strike to hold talks with government

12:01 pm on 12 September 2002

The head of the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, Clement Waiwori, says yesterday's threatened strike by public servants has been deferred to allow for talks with the government on when it will pay outstanding wages.

Discussions on a pay schedule will continue amid hope that it can be agreed on before the weekend.

The government has repeatedly said it has not enough revenue to meet all pays.

But Mr Waiwori says his members want to know when they will get paid.

"We will continue with the half-day work until a pay timetable has been agreed. We anticipate a kind of memorandum of understanding normalising the payment of salaries before we go back to work."

Meanwhile, the government says it has met teachers' representatives to discuss the pay issue.

The prime minister's spokesman, Edward Kingmele, says he hopes the teachers' so-called sit-in will be abandoned.

If the government can at least pay one area and meet the overdue dues, they'll be able to consider their position.

Edward Kingmele