23 Aug 2003

Solomon Islands teachers' strike called off

7:44 am on 23 August 2003

The Solomon Islands National Teachers Association says a strike by nearly 3-thousand of its members has been suspended for thee weeks.

They went on strike on Wednesday over the government's failure to address their log of claims submitted in early 2002.

The Association's general-secretary, Fred Taika, says he has met the prime minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, and negotiations will begin on Monday.

Mr Taika says Sir Allen has promised to set up a taskforce to look at the claims which include compensation payments related to the ethnic tensions and the upgrading of teacher certificate courses to degree or diploma level.

However, Mr Taika says SINTA has refused to have the education minister, Snyder Rini, involved in the negotiations.

"I still stand by that Mr Rini must be removed from the ministry of education because he already failed his part. If he'll attend the meeting on Monday I'll tell him to excuse himself from negotiations."