19 Jan 2006

Strike by teachers in Tonga looks to have been averted

7:05 pm on 19 January 2006

A threatened strike by hundreds of government teachers in Tonga looks to have been averted by an emergency meeting between the Public Service Association and ministry of education officials.

The PSA says teachers who took part in the last years public servants' strike have been overlooked for promotion and some have been transferred to the outer islands.

The PSA said around 400 teachers would strike next week if their concerns weren't looked at.

They also threatened legal action as they say the discrimination was against the memorandum of understanding which ended last years strike.

However PSA executive member Fotu Fisi'ahi says a last minute meeting has been sucessful.

"We had a meeting with the director of education and his three deputies to address all the concerns we submitted to them last week. I'd say the outcome of the meeting was great to us, on our side. It was, some of our concerns, grievances were approved and the other ones were left for the director and delegates from us to join them and address the rest."

Mr Fisi'ahi says the ministry will review its appointment process and the two groups will meet again soon to discuss other issues.