5 Aug 2005

Fiji nurses strike continues after they increase demands

6:46 pm on 5 August 2005

A strike by members of the Fiji Nurses Association will continue tomorrow after the failure of talks with the Public Service Association and labour ministry officials.

The association's general secretary, Kuini Lutua, says they have upped their demands from the original three grievances to ten.

All health centres around Fiji closed down today as the nurses manning them walked off their jobs on the second day of the strike begun by hospital nurses on Thursday.

Hospitals have sent home patients who were not in serious condition and have closed down some wards to concentrate on emergency services only.

Student doctors and nurses have been bought in to perform simple tasks with the help of volunteers.

They are working 12-hour shifts along with retired nurses.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation has passed a resolution expressing support for their Fiji counterparts.

Their president, Jane O'Malley, says they are strongly behind their Fiji colleagues in their struggle for fair pay and recognition for the value of their work.