16 Jul 2009

Fiji union hopes public service redundancies will be voluntary

3:07 pm on 16 July 2009

The Public Service Association in Fiji says it's important that redundancy packages reportedly on the table for civil servants are voluntary.

The Public Service Commission told FijiLive that it plans to cut the number of public servants by another 20 percent as part of reforms to be completed by next year.

2,500 staff were made to retire in April after the retirement age was lowered to 55 by decree.

The commission says another 6,000 jobs are to be slashed and staff will be asked to take voluntary redundancy.

The PSA's senior industrial advisor, Nirbhay Singh, says younger staff must have the opportunity to retain their jobs.

"Only the senior most people offered voluntary redundancy would stand to gain a package with which they will be satisfied to make that decision but in the majority of the cases people with these shorter service and lower salary scale will be at a losing end because they're still making their life and being faced with a redundancy either voluntary or compulsory they have to make hard choices."

Nirbhay Singh of Fiji's Public Service Association