6 Dec 2003

Fiji government settles COLAs with three unions

10:26 am on 6 December 2003

The Fiji government has agreed to pay 4 million US dollars in Cost-of-Living Adjustments or COLAs, to three public sector unions who have agreed to implement the new Performance Management System from next year.

They are the Viti Union of Taukei Workers, the Fijian Teachers Union whose membership is exclusively indigenous, and the Public Employees Union.

The money amounts to a 2 per cent increase, half of which will be paid before Christmas and the other half, labelled as a merit increase, in January.

But the Fiji Public service Association, the Fiji Nurses Association and the Fiji Teachers Union are pressing for a 5 per cent increase, saying this is in line with previous awards.

They say they will not sell their members short and are prepared to take industrial action.

Fiji's finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, told parliament this week that the government had not allocated any money in the budget for Cost of Living payments.