4 May 2010

Solomons union to talk to government over MPs pay hike plans

12:43 pm on 4 May 2010

Unions in Solomon Islands have decided to hold talks with the government and the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission about the pay rise for MPs, although they're not ruling out strike action.

The Council of Trade Unions had considered striking in protest at an 11 percent pay increase for MPs and a boost to some of their funds and allowances.

But its national secretary Tony Kagovai says they're now seeking meetings with the caretaker government and the commission about the issue.

However, Mr Kagovai disputes the Prime Minister's statement that politicians have not received the pay increases enjoyed by public servants since 2006, and that the government made no submission to the Commission on the increases.

"What the Prime Minister is saying is misleading the nation. Members of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission are political appointees. He appoints them and he dictates them to give the awards."

Tony Kagovai says they have a strong case to take to the Commission, and will exhaust all options before resorting to a strike.