23 Jul 2007

Solomons' minister says government is making provision for striking teachers' wage claims

7:57 pm on 23 July 2007

The Solomon Islands Finance Minister says there is provision for settlement of striking teachers' claims in the new budget.

A nation-wide strike by six thousand Solomon Islands school teachers has entered its second week.

The teachers are frustrated that the government is yet to implement provisions agreed to in January, including re-leveling of the pay structure.

The National Teachers Association, SINTA, says it doesn't believe in the Minister's assurance that the government is commited to paying the teachers' claim of around 7.6 million dollars.

But Gordon Darcy Lilo insists that the government has done its best to address the teachers' claims.

"There is a provision for settlement of the teachers' claims. It is in the contingency warrant. Ten million of the recurrent budget's contingency warrant to cater for the claims that have been demanded by the teachers. The government has already done it. We are just waiting for the Parliament to sit on the 7th of August to decide on the supplementary appropriation bill."

Gordon Darcy Lilo has called on the striking teachers to return to work.