2 Oct 2013

Fiji public service unions make claim as test of constitution

7:55 pm on 2 October 2013

Public service unions in Fiji want to test their right to collective bargaining under the new constitution.

The Confederation of Public Sector Unions has lodged a claim with the Public Service Commission for a salary increase for its members which would match that recently given to the country's top civil servants.

Permanent secretaries have been awarded hikes of up to 192% and placed on new contracts without allowances for things like housing and travel.

The General Secretary of the Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says the unions will take the issue to the courts if their claim is refused.

"Now the new Fiji constitution has come into force we want to test that. It says employers and unions have got a right to collective bargaining. The issue is whether they want to bargain with our 110% pay claim."

Rajeshwar Singh says the claim will also be a test of anti-discrimination provisions in Fiji's Employment Relations Promulgation.