RNs - Fiji

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No Pay for Striking Nurses Today

Fijivillage, August 9, 2007 Close to 1200 members of the Fiji Nursing
Association who remain on strike for the 16th day will not be paid
today. Interim Health Minister Doctor Jona Baravilala Senilagakali
confirmed to Village News last night that they provided the Ministry of
Finance with all the relevant information pertaining to the striking
nurses and identified those who will not be paid. Doctor Senilagakali
also stresses that the money will be used to pay those retired nurses
and others who have assisted during the FNA strike. Although the
striking nurses have not been at work for the last two weeks, General
Secretary of the FNA, Kuini Lutua maintains that the interim
government's decision is illegal. Lutua said they are now seeking legal

Lutua refuses strike number

Fiji Times, August 9, 2007 Fiji Nursing Association general secretary
Kuini Lutua has refused to reveal the number of nurses on strike. When
told that it was to be compared to figures being given by the Ministry
of Health on striking nurses returning to work, she said it was an
irrelevant request considering that her members were into their 16th
day of strike yesterday. "I'm sorry I can't give you those figures,"
said Ms Lutua. She said the figures given by the interim Government
were made up. "They said we have 1200 members when we in fact have 1400
members. These are all lies." ... Lutua

'Graveyard shift' too heavy

Fiji Times, August 9, 2007 Fiji Medical Association spokesman Doctor
James Fong says the long hours were starting to weigh them down as the
nurses go into their 17th day of strike. He said fatigue was setting in
and it had become increasingly hard to roster people on 12-hour shifts
because they were all feeling the pressure. Some doctors who did not
want to be named said they were not happy that the Ministry of Health
was saying that its contingency plan was working well when clearly, it
was not. Talk along hospital corridors is that some staff have stayed
away from work to avoid the heavy workload. ... Graveyard

Nurses not charged - Teleni

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 9, 2007 Striking nurses who were
taken in for questioning should be thankful that they were not charged
says Police Commissioner Commodore Esala Teleni. A team of police
officers visited the Fiji Nurses Association to explain the reasons
behind the questioning of several nurses who protested outside
government buildings earlier this week. Police Commissioner Commodore
Esala Teleni confirmed that the visit was made this morning. ... Nurses

Fiji’s nurses’ union denies strike has been vain

Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2007 Fiji’s nurses’ union
denies that its more than two-week long strike has been in vain. More
than 12 hundred nurses are demanding a reversal of a five per cent pay
cut. The general secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association, Kuini Lutua,
says as their claim has been ignored the nurses have decided to take
legal action against the interim government, and once papers are filed
with the High Court, they will go back to work. She says that could
happen within the week. Mrs Lutua says the nurses are frustrated and
angry. ... Fiji

Some striking Fiji nurses return to work

Radio New Zealand International, August 8, 2007 As the Fiji nurses
strike enters its 17th day, some of them have started going back to
work for fear of further loss of pay. 82 nurses are reported to have
returned to work at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, 20 in
the northern division and others in small sub-divisional hospitals and
medical centres. The general secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association,
Kuini Lutua, says nurses are returning to work because they do not want
to lose more pay. Although she has refused to give the total number
still on strike, she says returnees have not affected their industrial
action. The interim minister for health, Dr Jona Senilagakali, says the
strikers will not be paid and the money saved will be used to pay those

Nurses Return Slowly to Normal Shifts

Fijivillage, August 8, 2007 Nurses at the largest hospital in the
country are slowly moving towards their normal eight hour shifts as
retired nurses are being brought in to help out during the strike and
some striking nurses are also slowly returning to work. Director Health
Services Central/Eastern, Doctor Salanieta Saketa said nurses are still
working their 12 hour shifts as the Fiji Nursing Association reaches
its 16th day of strike today, but adds this could change soon. Saketa
has confirmed that as of yesterday, a total number of 22 striking
nurses returned to work at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and
Sub-Divisional hospitals in the Central/Eastern Division. She added
that 30 retired nurses were brought in to help. © 2007 FijiVillage.com
| All rights reserved

Hospital wards remain closed

Fiji Times, August 8, 2007 Five wards remained closed at Lautoka
Hospital as the nation-wide nurses strike reached its 14th day
yesterday. Acting director western health services Doctor Eloni Tora
said the five wards were closed but the ante-natal ward was reopened on
Monday night because of an increase in patients. He said there was an
increase in patients examined at the accident and emergency unit
because of a viral infection. Doctor Tora said two nurses who were on
strike had returned to work. Copyright © 2007, Fiji Times Limited. All
Rights Reserved.

Public sector workers strike against junta’s austerity measures

Terry Cook, World Socialist Web Site, August 8, 2007 In defiance of
threats by the Fijian military regime, more than 10,000 government
workers began an indefinite strike on August 2. The strikers are
members of the Public Employees Union (PEU), Fijian Teachers
Association (FTA) and the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers (NUTW)
- all affiliates of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions (FICTU).
The strikers joined more than 1,600 nurses who walked out on July 25
over the same issues - the government’s budget decision to cut the pay
of public sector workers by 5 percent and axe jobs by lowering the
retirement age from 60 to 55. In the small Pacific island state of just
less than a million people, the strikers represent a significant

Strike politically motivated to an extend: Dr Ratuva

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 8, 2007 The interim government’s
perception that the strike carried out by the nurses could have been
politically motivated is fair to some extend says Political commentator
and academic Dr Steven Ratuva. Commenting on the views expressed by the
Interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on the strike, Dr Ratuva said
there are some genuine unionists out there who only want the best for
their members. However, Dr Ratuva urges the government to provide
factual evidence on its comments rather than pointing fingers and
pushing the blame. ... Strike

The continuing Fijian trauma

Mark Hayes, ON LINE  opinion, August 8, 2007 Matai Akauola isn’t
the kind of guy to display emotion in public. Like most Fijian men,
even when injured on the rugby field, he usually presents as being
genial, even-tempered and calm. As a leading Fijian journalist, the
News and Sports Director at the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation no less,
he’s “been there, done and seen that” when it comes to Fiji’s periodic,
self-inflicted, traumas. Yet during a morning session on threats to
media freedom in the Pacific at the 2007 Pacific Islands News
Association (PINA) Convention in Honiara, Solomon Islands, in late May,
he was hunched over the table in tears as he related how his family was

General Practitioners Association offer help to Health Ministry

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 8, 2007 The Fiji College of
General Practitioners Association has offered their services to the
Ministry of Health whilst the nurses [attempt] to resolve their
conflict with the interim govenrment. According to Association
President Dr Wahid Khan the nurses needed to resolve their grievances
with the interim government soon. Association President Dr Wahid Khan
said the association members have offered to help the Ministry in
providing health services during the nurses’ strike. ... General

No pay for striking nurses

Fijilive, August 8, 2007 Fiji Nursing Association general secretary
Kuini Lutua says she has received confirmation from the Health Ministry
that striking nurses will not be getting paid. Lutua told Fijilive that
they were told this afternoon that the nurses are not going to get
their fortnightly pay. "No government whether it's legal or illegal has
ever done this to us," she said. Lutua said that they were told by the
ministry this morning that the members would receive their pay but this
afternoon the decision has changed. "I think they had a directive from
the Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry to withdraw the nurses pay," she
said. ... No

FNA claims striking nurses will be paid

Health Ministry to confirm. Fijivillage, August 8, 2007 The General
Secretary for Fiji Nursing Association, Kuini Lutua claims that the
striking nurses will get their full pay packet tomorrow with the rest
of the civil servants. Although the interim administration has made it
clear that the striking nurses will not be paid for all the days that
they have been out of work, Lutua made an announcement at FNA today
that they will get their full pay. Lutua adds that the interim
administration tried to completely cut off nurses' pay. Interim Finance
Minister said he has not issued any such directive for the striking
nurses to be paid. However, Mahendra Chaudhry said that if the striking
nurses get fully paid this week than it will be deducted from their

Fiji's interim administration won't tolerate law-breakers: PM

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 8, 2007 Citizens of Fiji who
break the law will be dealt with accordingly warned Interim Prime
Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. Referring to yesterday’s protest
by striking nurses Commodore Bainimarama said protesting nurses were
taken in for questioning because they broke the laws under the Public
Order Act. He said nurses’ general secretary Kuini Lutua and her
supporters have an interpretation of the Public Order Act that differs
from the Police. Commodore Bainimarama added that the nurses had a
motive in their protest outside the Government Buildings yesterday and
it was only right they be taken in for questioning. He stressed that
the Government will not tolerate such action. Copyright © 2007, Fiji

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