9 Apr 2007

Fiji public sector unions still polling in bid to reverse paycuts

1:32 pm on 9 April 2007

The Fiji Teachers Union is waiting on the Fiji Nursing Association to complete its voting before deciding on a response to the five-percent paycut for public servants.

The union's general secretary, Agni Deo Singh, made the comment to the Fiji Times as the military has warned that it won't tolerate strike action under the current emergency rule.

Public sector unions have been dismayed at the cuts announced as part of a revised budget and they have said they will oppose them.

The Fiji Public Service Association has completed ballotting its members and has been given an overwhelming mandate to strike, should discussions fail.

Last month, the deputy commander of the Fiji military, Captain Esala Teleni, warned that those taking action would never come back and had to go for good.

At Easter, the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, renewed his call for public sector unions to not stage a national strike.

He says recent natural disasters have put a further strain on the government's finances and the unions need to understand the current environment.