17 Dec 2003

Solomons pay dispute decision needs approval by PM

8:17 am on 17 December 2003

The Solomon Island Trade and Disputes Panel has ruled that public servants deserve a wage rise, but any decision requires the approval of the Prime Minister.

Members of the Public Employees Union went on strike last month over the government's refusal to give them a raise, with the government referring the issue to the Panel.

It says public servants should get a 2 point 5-percent salary increase backdated to January this year, and a cost of living adjustment of 8-percent backdated to last year.

The Trade and Commerce permanent secretary Allan Arafoa says the prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who is also the supervising minister for Trade and Commerce, has yet to approve the panel's decision.

"It is public knowledge now because a copy of that decision has been given to the parties involved in the case. Because under the Act, it is the minister who has the final say whether to uphold the panel's decision, or to vary it."

Trade and Commerce permanent secretary Allan Arafoa.