5 Mar 2007

Fiji's public servants begin voting on whether to take action over pay cuts

3:16 pm on 5 March 2007

Public servants in Fiji have begun voting on whether to take action against the pay cuts announced by the interim administration in its first post-coup budget.

The nearly 25,000 strong public workforce will have their pay cut by five percent, with the exception of the interim ministers, and the retirement age is to be lowered from 60 to 55 in a series of staggered steps.

The senior industrial officer for the Public Servants Association, Nirbhay Singh, says there is disappointment that the cuts have been implemented.

Mr Singh says the PSA is putting several issues before its members to respond to, including the reduction in pay and retirement ages, the administration's treatment of some workplace agreements and a report on a job evaluation review.

"Country-wide voting by secret ballot started last weekend. We have six branches around the country and it'll carry on this week and next week to end on Friday 16th, at our national annual general meeting in Suva. That's when the results will come out."

Mr Singh says the PSA is expecting a high turnout on the vote.