13 Feb 2007

Fiji union in talks over cuts announced by military chief

2:34 pm on 13 February 2007

The Fiji Public Service Commission and the public sector unions were due to meet again today for the second round of talks on the partnership agreement, reduction of retirement age and the public service 5-percent pay cut.

The unions have warned that they would oppose the interim government's proposal of a wage reduction and would not accept the withdrawal of the agreement.

The Confederation of Public Sector Unions had requested that the interim government provide them with the state of government finances so that they could advise and negotiate, but the Fiji Sun says this has not eventuated.

The unions have warned that strike action would only take place if talks with the commission fail.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the army preferred the parties sit down, talk and reach an amicable solution.

But in a media briefing yesterday, the interim Prime Minister and military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, said the pay cuts and reduction in the retirement age would go ahead.