24 Dec 2004

Fiji public servants get two per cent pay rise

7:33 am on 24 December 2004

The Fiji government has awarded an interim two per cent pay increase to public servants ahead of Christmas to avert a threatened nationwide strike next week.

The public servants have withdrawn their strike notice after agreeing to refer their claim for a five per cent Cost Of Living increase, to arbitration.

Although the government is strongly opposed to the payment of any Cost of Living increase, it says it'll abide by the arbitration ruling.

The Fiji Sun reports that the two per cent increase, which cost US$5.4 million, is also being paid to cabinet ministers, MPs and senators.

During this month's meeting of the senate, a government senator had described a Cost of Living payout as sinful and quoted verses from the Bible to support his claim.

The general secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says it's a disgrace that members of parliament who opposed the payment will benefit from it.