8 Aug 2005

Fiji's striking nurses say they lack faith in CEO of Public Service Commission

8:27 am on 8 August 2005

Fiji's 1,300 striking nurses say they will only believe in undertakings given by the head of the public service, the prime minister, or the chairman of the Public Service Commission, Stuart Hugget.

The general secretary of the Fiji Nurses association, Kuini Lutua, says they have no faith in the chief executive officer of the commission, Anare Jale, because he reneged on written undertakings given to the nurses in December last year.

Mrs Lutua says the issues Mr Jale had reneged on were the same ones in the present dispute, which has caused the strike to enter its fifth day with no end in sight.

She also says the government is male dominated and does not take women's issues seriously, which is why the nurses are crying out.

The labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, says the PSC has agreed to 90% of the nurses demands, their strike is illegal and they should return to work or their leaders will face arrest.

Mrs Lutua says the nurse will continue with their strike until the outstanding issues are resolved.