11 Oct 2006

Fiji government to lay off 5,000 civil servants

11:02 am on 11 October 2006

Fiji's prime minister has announced in Australia that 5,000 jobs in the civil service will be axed.

Fiji TV reports that Laisenia Qarase revealed this at a meeting of the Australia - Fiji Business Forum on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Mr Qarase said the job cuts are part of civil service reforms which have been endorsed by the multi-party cabinet.

He described the reforms as the corporate reorganization of the civil service.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the public service commission, Anare Jale, has told the Fiji Times he has heard about the downsizing but there has not been much discussion on the issue.

The general secretary of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions, Attar Singh, says redundancy should be the last option to be considered by the government.

Fiji has 26,000 salary and wage earners in the civil service.