25 Jan 2007

Fiji administration to lower pension age to 55

11:25 am on 25 January 2007

More than 1,000 public servants in Fiji stand to lose their jobs as the military appointed interim administration moves to lower the retirement age to 55.

The retirement age was increased to 60 a few years ago.

But the new interim minister for public service reforms, Poseci Bune, says thousands of young people are coming out with tertiary and technical qualifications and it is time to find jobs for them.

The general secretary of the Fiji Public Servants Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says they are shocked by Mr Bune's decision which reeks of dictatorship.

Mr Singh says public service unions have an agreement with the government that any changes to terms and conditions of employment have to be negotiated before the matter is taken to cabinet.

He says the minister has breached the collective agreement and is dictating terms.

Mr Singh says the unions will take action if the interim administration goes ahead with its plans.