5 Feb 2007

Fiji public service threatens resistance to proposed pay cuts

10:49 am on 5 February 2007

Public service unions in Fiji have warned the military appointed interim administration that they will resist any pay cuts for their members.

The interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, has announced that pay cuts and reductions in ministerial allocations are likely to be part of the new budget to be announced next month.

Mr Chaudhry says they have to make cuts in line with decreases in government revenue and to cut the budget deficit to 2% of GDP, down from between 5% and 6% in the term of the Qarase government.

But the general secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says they will resist any pay cuts as civil servants are becoming the targets of the interim administration to balance the budget.

The president of the Fiji Trades Union Congress, Daniel Urai, says the (Qarase) government had signed an agreement last year to keep the workers happy and any breach would result in a response.

The general secretary of the Fiji Teachers Union, Agni Deo Singh, says they will take industrial action if there is any pay cut.

The unions are also resisting a proposal by the interim administration to lower the retiring age from 60 to 55.