10 Jul 2007

Threat of strike action by Fiji's public sector unions averted

3:24 pm on 10 July 2007

Fiji's Public Sector Unions are to withdraw their threat of strike action after reaching an agreement, in principle, with the interim administration which includes progressively restoring their pay cuts.

The spokesman for the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Nirbhay Singh, says the political rallies planned for tomorrow have also been called off.

He says the deal was reached after long negotiations with the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry and was then agreed to by the interim prime minister, Frank Bainimarama.

"We've hammered out an agreement that the government will undertake to re-instate all reduced salaries and pay rates progressively, this year and next year, in principle so that is a big breakthrough. First step of that will be by December, by Christmas time, there'll be a restoration of 1 percent of the reduced 5 percent."

Mr Singh says there will be negotiations later in the year on the restoration of the remaining 4 percent, depending on the state of the economy.

He says several other issues were discussed, including the retirement age which they've agreed to put to one side as it's subject to a court case.