RNs - Fiji

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Church concerned with needs & plight of nurses - Kunanitu

Fijivillage, August 7, 2007 The Assemblies of God of Fiji feels that
while it is their moral and social obligation to assist everyone
including those patients at the hospitals in their time of need, it is
also their duty to support the nurses to have their needs met.
Executive Director, Reverand Aisake Kunanitu said that the church is
equally concerned with the needs and the plight of the nurses, also
affecting their family members, most of whom are also church members.
Meanwhile, one of the reasons, church ministers take regular
visitations to hospitals, is not only to pray for the sick but also to
assist anyone who may need help during their visitations. The church is
pleading to the interim government to seriously consider making efforts

More nurses back at work

Fiji Times, August 7, 2007 The number of nurses who have returned to
work in the Northern Division continues to rise, with another group
returning at the weekend. At Labasa hospital, four more nurses
returned, with five at Taveuni Hospital, one at Savusavu Hospital,
taking to 16 the number of nurses who have returned to work. The
majority of members of the Public Employees Union stationed at Savusavu
Hospital have returned to work. Savusavu sub-divisional medical officer
Doctor Mohammed Ishaque said PEU members were employed in the laundry
and kitchen sections of the hospital. "Their return has made work much
easier and lighter for the hospital and the roster is normalising

Nurses will stand firm and will not be moved: FNA

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 7, 2007 The Fiji Nurses
Association says that nurses will stand firm and will not be moved by
statements made by Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Lutua said in an interview on our national Fijian Network, the nurses
are mothers of this country and they will fight to the end. She said
they have been conducting prayer meetings and have prayed for the Prime
Minister in his decision making. Lutua added Bainimarama carried out
the coup because the military wants to run the government and it's part
of their responsibility to resolve such situations. ... Nurses

Talks end in stalemate

Fiji Times, August 7, 2007 Negotiations between the Public Service
Commission and the Fiji Nursing Association on the 5 per cent pay
restoration ended in a deadlock yesterday. This was after both parties
indicated their reluctance to pursue further talks after a
misunderstanding arose during talks between FNA general secretary Kuini
Lutua and PSC permanent secretary Taina Tagicakibau at the weekend. Ms
Tagicakibau, when questioned yesterday if there were further plans for
negotiations between the parties, said she would have to "think about
it". ... Talks

Old nurses can't cope: Lutua

Fiji Times, August 7, 2007 Retired nurses brought in by the Ministry of
Health as caregivers will be able to manage, but only to a certain
extent, says Fiji Nursing Association general secretary Kuini Lutua.
She said the retired nurses may have the expertise to do the work
required of them as stand-in for striking nurses but as some of those
nurses were more than 60 years old, they could not be expected to carry
out some duties as ably as their younger colleagues. Ms Lutua said one
other issue the retired nurses should keep in mind while stepping in
for those on strike was the interim Government's decision to scale down
the compulsory retirement age from 60 to 55. That showed the interim

Talks to end Fiji nurses strike ends in deadlock

Radio New Zealand International, August 6, 2007 Talks between the
Public Service Commission and the Fiji Nurses Association to settle
their two-week old strike have again ended in deadlock. The Fiji Times
reports that the breakdown followed what was described as a
misunderstanding between the two parties. The chief executive of the
PSC, Taina Tagicakibau, is quoted as saying she would have to think
about whether there would be further talks. Ms Tagicakibau says
executives of the nurses say one thing during the talks and another
when they are outside. ... Talks

FNA suspicious of Govt's 1% offer

Fijilive, August 6, 2007 The Fiji Nursing Association says it is wary
of the interim regime's 1 per cent pay restoration offer. FNA general
secretary, Kuini Lutua said the striking nurses will not return to work
unless they get their 5 per cent. "They offered us 1 per cent plus
other incentives but we are hesitant to take it," she said. "We don't
know what their (govt) motive is because if we do accept their offer
than surely they will have some sort of agreement in line for us, which
we don't feel comfortable with. They should just restore the 5 per cent
and we can deal with other demands later." ... FNA

Nurses maintain their stand

Fijilive, August 6, 2007 Striking nurses in Fiji have shrugged off
claims by the interim Government that more nurses are returning to
work. Fiji Nursing Association general secretary Kuini Lutua confirmed
only a few nurses have returned to work contradicting claims by the
Government that they have been successful in persuading members to
return to work. “Even though some of the nurses have returned to work,
majority of them are still on strike and I can say that we still have
about 1200 members sitting out here.” Lutua said the interim Government
played a trick on the Association by persuading nurses to return to
work. ... Nurses

Two Fiji unions may end their strike today

Radio New Zealand International, August 6, 2007 Two public sector
unions in Fiji stand ready to call off their strike provided today’s
cabinet meeting endorses the agreement they have reached with the
Public Service Commission. The agreement centres on accepting the
government’s 1% pay restoration offer with the balance of the 4% to be
addressed in the 2008 budget. It also calls for the retention of the
retirement age at 60 and the delayed restoration of the Partnership
Agreement reached by the deposed government. The general secretary of
the Public Employees Union, Pita Delana, says they will call off their
strike provided the cabinet endorses the agreement. The general
secretary of the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers, Taniela Tabu,

Fiji nurses ready to resign: union

Radio Australia, August 6, 2007 The Fiji Nursing Association says its
strike is no longer just about the restoration of a five per cent pay
cut and their members are ready to hand in their resignations as the
strike enters its 13th day. The assocation's general secretary, Kuini
Lutua, says striking nurses have been informed they are being forced
into taking only one per cent - which they will not accept. The Village
News says further talks will be held Monday to try to end the strike.
Meanwhile, the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama,
says the grievances of Fiji nurses will not be referred to compulsory
arbitration. Commodore Bainimarama says the offer of one per cent pay
restoration still exists, and the government's stand has not changed. ©
ABC 2007

Few nurses in Fiji return to work

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 6, 2007 A slight improvement in
terms of the medical situation in the Northern Division has been noted
as more nurses return to work. On Taveuni, eleven nurses have returned
to work while there are four in Labasa. Director Northern Health
Services Dr Ami Chandra says the situation is better than last week.
"Well Taveuni hospital now has 16 nurses at work. Because of this good
number we’re recalling the Labasa hospital nurses that were deployed
there. There has been a positive response from those that were on
strike. As of yesterday about ten nurses have returned from the
picketing site to the hospital. Dr Chandra is hopeful that more nurses
will return to their posts although this hasn’t been the case in

No arbitration for nurses

Fijilive, August 5, 2007 The grievances of nurses will not be referred
to compulsory arbitration, says Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore
Voreqe Bainimarama. Bainimarama told Fijilive this afternoon that the
offer of one per cent pay restoration still exists and Government’s
stand has not changed. “The offer is still there and we will keep it
going,” he said. But the Fiji Nursing Association says the matter
should have been taken to arbitration on the second day of strike. FNA
general secretary Kuini Lutua said Bainimarama’s advisors are not
giving him the right advice. ... No

Govt prolonging strike: Nurses

Fijilive, August 5, 2007 Fiji Nursing Association general secretary
Kuini Lutua says the interim regime is prolonging the strike to weaken
her members. But Lutua told Fijilive that her members have a strong
willpower. She said the statement by Public Service permanent secretary
Taina Tagicakibau last night on National Television was very tricky.
Tagicakibau suggested that the nurses had accepted the 1 per cent pay
restoration by December and that other requests are to be met within
Government's existing budget. Lutua said some vehicles went to pick up
nurses from different centres to start their shifts. ... Govt

Interim Fiji PM says there will be no arbitration with unions

Radio New Zealand International, August 5, 2007 Fiji’s interim prime
minister has stressed there will be no arbitration to resolve the
current public sector strikes by the Nurses Association, the Public
Employees Union and the Viti National Union of Taukei Workers.
Commodore Bainimarama told Radio Legend this morning that the interim
labour minister has been advised on the government’s stand and they are
now working according to their contingency plans. Commodore Bainimarama
says the government’s offer is still on the table and if the unions
want to talk, the government will talk. He says government ministries
are providing services and there is no question of arbitration. ... Interim

Nurses stick to their 'guns'

Fiji Times, August 6, 2007 Fiji Nursing Association president Kuini
Lutua is adamant nurses have not and will not return to work as Health
Minister Doctor Jona Senilagakali claims. The acting director for
Western Health Services, Doctor Eloni Tora, confirmed no striking
nurses in the division had returned to work despite an announcement by
Public Service Commission permanent secretary Taina Tagicakibau on
Saturday that there was a major breakthrough in talks between the FNA
and PSC. Ms Tagicakibau claimed the FNA had accepted the one per cent
pay restoration with nurses indicating they would return to work.
However, Dr Tora said all hospitals in the West had indicated that none
of the striking nurses had reported to work since Saturday evening. ...

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