6 Aug 2007

Strike by several Fiji public sector unions near end

3:33 pm on 6 August 2007

There are indications from Fiji that strikes by several public sector unions are close to settlement.

Reports say the Public Employees Union and the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers are expected to accept the one-percent pay restoration offered by the interim government.

The reports say the Public Employees Union is likely to call off its strike today after successful talks with officials of the Public Service Commission.

The union's general secretary, Pita Delana, says they have accepted the 1% pay restoration with the balance of the 4% to be paid in the 2008 budget to be tabled in November.

Mr Delana says the PSC has agreed that the retirement age of 60 be maintained together with the Partnership Agreement signed by the previous government.

The general secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers , Taniela Tabu, says they are finalising a similar agreement.

Mr Tabu says once the two unions have reached an agreement with the government, they will try to get the Fijian Teachers Association on board.

Large numbers of striking members of the Public Employees Union have already returned to work.

A nurses' strike however is in its second week.