3 Mar 2007

Fiji's public sector unions accuse interim administration of bad faith

11:09 am on 3 March 2007

Fiji's public sector unions have accused the interim administration of bad faith in the 5% pay cut for all civil servants announced in the revised 2007 budget presented by the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, yesterday.

The chairman of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Rajeshwar Singh, says the Public Service Commission had been negotiating in bad faith when the administration had made up its mind all along that the pay cut would be imposed.

But, he says, at least the finance minister has undertaken to restore the pay cut when economic conditions improve.

In announcing the pay cut, Mr Chaudhry said after the 1987 coup civil service pay had been cut by 15% and after the 2000 coup it had been reduced by 12-point-5%.

He did not announced any further cuts in pay although it was widely speculated that there might be further 5% pay cuts in the next two years making a total of 15%.

The general secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association, Kuini Lutua, says her members did not ask for the coup and she could not see why their pay is being cut.