30 Jul 2007

Fiji PM says no point meeting nurses if they insist on full restoration of pay cut

9:20 am on 30 July 2007

Fiji's interim prime minister says it would be impractical to meet with officials of the Fiji Nurses Association if they insist on full restoration of their 5% pay cut.

Radio Legend says Commodore Bainimarama's response came as the nationwide nurses' strike entered its sixth day today.

Commodore Bainimarama says he will only meet with the Nurses Association general secretary, Kuini Lutua, when she is willing to understand the interim government's point of view.

He says he understands that the nurses' demands have not been taken seriously over the past years but he will ensure that all the issues are addressed in due course provided they return to work.

But Mrs Lutua says the full restoration of the 5% pay cut is one of their main demands and now they are on strike, they have to start negotiations from that point.

She says it is the government's responsibility to call them to a meeting and start bargaining.