19 Jan 2004

Solomon Islands teachers split over possible strike

8:12 am on 19 January 2004

As the academic year begins in Solomon Islands today, teachers are divided over whether to go strike.

Honiara teachers are opposed to a call by the National Teachers Association for a strike because of the government's failure to meet its demands.

This comes amid a warning by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands to the government against any pay rises for public service sector employees.

Its head, Nick Warner, has told Solomon Islands radio that a rise amounts to a threat to the partnership between RAMSI and the government.

Last week, the government gave in to a strike threat by the public sector unions and awarded backdated pay increases in line with last year's ruling by the Trade Disputes Panel.

The budget, which had been re-drafted in November with the assistance of Australian officials, makes no provisions for pay rises.