22 Dec 2003

Solomons public sector unions still unhappy aboput government's pay offer

11:20 am on 22 December 2003

Public-sector unions in Solomon Islands were to meet today to thrash out their response to the Government's offer of a two point five percent pay rise.

The Government is to offer public servants the pay rise from January 1 next year but the 15-hundred-strong Public Employees' Union wants closer to eight percent backdated to January 1 this year.

A leading financial adviser under the Regional Assistance Mission, or Ramsi, the Under-secretary of Finance, Colin Johnson, has ruled out any advance on the offer.

But Tony Baura, the union's industrial relations officer, says it has come under pressure from members who want eight percent in recognition of the problems they experienced during recent ethnic tensions.

He says the union could try to negotiate with the Government or take it to court, and these options would be discussed if a meeting goes ahead today