18 Jul 2011

Teachers' strike put on hold in Solomon Islands

3:08 pm on 18 July 2011

Students in Solomon Islands have started the new term as scheduled today after strike action was averted by last minute negotiations between the teacher's association and the government.

The government agreed to a meeting last week a few days after the Solomon Islands National Teachers' Association submitted a document for a national strike.

The permanent secretary for the Public Service, Ishmael Avui, says the government has offered a counter-claim on SINTA's request for an 11.5% increase in the cost of living adjustment.

He denies that the government only acted when threatened with strike action.

"It's not waiting too long, it's a matter of getting the right time for us to meet, it's always on the table so now we are going ahead with the negotiation at the moment, it's not a delaying tactic as such. We are considering relationships with unions as a priority."

Ishmael Avui says the government is waiting for the teachers' response to its counter offer.