10 Jul 2007

Fiji Public Sector Unions to have pay cuts progressively restored

7:44 pm on 10 July 2007

The public sector unions in Fiji, which include teachers and nurses, are to have their pay cuts progressively re-instated in a deal reached with the interim administration.

The spokesman for the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, Nirbhay Singh, says this will avert the threat of strike action and the political rallies that had been planned, have been called off.

He says the interim Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, agreed, in principle, that the five percent pay cut would be restored, starting with one percent in December, and negotiations would be held later in the year over the remaining four percent.

Mr Singh says this depends on the state of the economy but the unions believe it will happen.

"We have, in return, decided that nearly all of our disputes are attended, and partly resolved or will be resolved in future, and as a result, the notice of industrial action would be withdrawn."

Mr Singh says talks over the retirement age are being put to one side as that is currently subject to a court case while the issue over last year's partnership agreement is to be deferred.