26 Apr 2007

Fiji public sector unions concerned at minister's conflict of interest in proposed mediation talks

3:21 pm on 26 April 2007

The Confederation of Public Service Unions in Fiji says it has relayed its concerns to the minister of labour, Bernadette Rounds Ganilau, over her intention to mediate in the proposed talks on the five percent pay cut and reduction of retirement age for civil servants.

A confederation official, Nirbhay Singh, says Ms Rounds Ganilau had invited them to the negotiating table with her as mediator, but there is a clear conflict of interest.

"That Minister for Labour sat in the cabinet, and made a decision and agreed and endorsed the decision for paycuts and for retirement age change, now the same minister has a conflict of interest if he or she wants to come an mediate in which she was a party before."

Mr Singh says the unions will decide early next week what their next step will be.