RNs - Fiji

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Positive response from FNA

Fijivillage, August 4, 2007 The Public Service Commission has advised
the Fiji Nursing Association, who are now on strike for 11 days, would
depend on its Executives accepting the 1 percent pay restoration.
Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Taina Tagicakibau confirmed to
Village news that there have been some positive response from the FNA,
but the interim government has made its stance clear. Tagicakibau
confirmed that she is expecting to meet FNA General Secretary Kuini
Lutua later today to discuss the matter further. Lutua is expected to
comment late today. © 2007 FijiVillage.com | All rights reserved

FICTU can do better: Singh

Fiji Times, August 4, 2007 The Fiji Islands Council of Trade Union is
not discouraged by the poor turnout by affiliates on its first day of
industrial action. FICTU general secretary Attar Singh admitted the
response by affiliated unions was not good. "There has been the blatant
intimidation in Taniela Tabu's arrest and detention," he said. ... FICTU

FTA calls off strike

Fiji Times, August 4, 2007 The Fijian Teachers Association yesterday
called off its strike as a result of the Education Ministry's decision
to begin the second term holidays next week. The move, said interim
Education Minister Netani Sukanaivalu, would not influence his decision
to stop the salaries of the 700-plus striking teachers for the holiday
period. Association general secretary Tevita Koroi said they would seek
legal advice on their options, which includes whether to conduct fresh
ballots for industrial action when school resumes. Public Employees
Union members, except for majority of its members in the water
department, were still out in numbers at their various picketing sites.
... FTA

Strike to reduce Govt deficit: Economist

Fijilive, August 4, 2007 University of Fiji academic Dr Chandra Dulare
says the strike by the four public sector unions is likely to have a
positive effect on the government budget deficit. However, he says, the
nurses' strike will have a negative effect on all sectors that rely
directly and indirectly on the health and education sectors. In
addition, there will be a multiplied negative effect as the effects
spread throughout the economy over time, Dr Dulare says. However, the
total net effect of the strikes on the expected negative growth rate
this year is not likely to be significant, he believes. ... Strike

Dr Jona happy with health service

Fiji Times, August 4, 2007 Interim Health Minister, Dr Jona
Senilagakali, is not worried about the strike, saying they have managed
for two weeks and will continue to do so. Dr Senilagakali said his
ministry's contingency plan has been very effective since the nurses
went on strike about two weeks ago. He has made it clear that his
ministry will not go into negotiations with the nurses, because his
priority is the health of patients and the public. ... Dr

Nurses 'fear victimisation'

Fiji Times, August 4, 2007 Striking nurses who wish to return to work
will be received with open arms, says director nursing Sister Lola
Tuiloma. In a statement yesterday, Ms Tuiloma said some nurses on
strike had indicated they wished to return to work but feared
victimisation by the Fiji Nursing Association. It is believed calls had
been received at the Ministry of Health's operations centre at the
Colonial War Memorial Hospital from individuals claiming to be nurses
on strike who wished to return to work. Ms Tuiloma said the nurses had
been told they were welcome to return to work. ... Nurses

Fiji unions warn of more strike action by teachers

Radio Australia, August 3, 2007 Fiji's trade unions say the decision by
the interim government to bring school holidays forward, has only
postponed strike action, not ended it. Faced with around 4,000 of its
teachers on strike, Fiji's interim government brought forward the start
of school holidays by two weeks. The Teachers Association has now
called off the strike it began on Thursday. But the interim education
minister, Netani Sukanaivalu, says any teachers who took part won't be
paid for the next two weeks. ... Fiji

Fiji's council of chiefs reinstated

One News, August 3, 2007 The Fiji military government has reinstated
the Great Council of Chiefs following the withdrawal of a court case
challenging its suspension. In April, Fiji's self appointed Prime
Minister Frank Bainimarama sacked the Council and suspended all future
meetings after it rejected Bainimarama's nomination of Ratu Epeli
Nailatikau as Fiji's vice president. Bainimarama accused the chiefs of
meddling in politics, and said they had made decisions that were were
not in the best interests of the people of Fiji. ... Fiji

Nurses must be paid for time on strike: Lutua

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 3, 2007 Fiji Nursing Association
general secretary Kuini Lutua said that the nurses must be paid for
their time on strike. Lutu said that Labor Minister Bernadette Rounds
Ganilau considers the strike legal. She added that under the
International Labor Organization laws, the case was supposed to be
referred to arbitration within the first two days of the dispute. Lutua
said that they submitted their full report to the Government before the
strike on midnight Tuesday July 24th 2007. She added that the report
contained the names of all the nurses who would go on strike. Lutua
said that the Government must be blamed for the current state of
affairs. Copyright © 2007, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited. All
Rights Reserved.

Morale still high: Lutua

Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 Morale at the Fiji Nursing Association's
picket centres is still high, general secretary Kuini Lutua said as
they enter Day 10 of the strike today. She said most nurses had
indicated they could stay off their jobs for another week or two. "We
have reached day nine (yesterday) and now there is no turning back,"
Mrs Lutua said. "Our members have indicated there is nothing stopping
them from carrying on in order to get their 5 per cent back." She
called on colleagues of striking nurses who are still at work to join
them, saying what they were fighting for would benefit all nurses. ... Morale

Some striking nurses reported to have gone back to work in Fiji

Radio New Zealand, August 3, 2007 Some of the nurses in Fiji who are 10
days into a strike have reportedly broken ranks and returned to work.
The Fiji Times reports that some nurses in Lautoka, Labasa and Taveuni
have go back to their jobs. Earlier, numbers of nurses in Suva, Nausori
and other centres had returned. The Fiji Nurses Association says morale
among the strikers is still high and most have indicated the action
will continue for as long as necessary. Meanwhile, hospitals are
reported to be coping with industrial action by ancilliary workers, who
are members of the Public Employees Union. Copyright © 2007 Radio New

Nurses back at work

Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 Striking members of the Fiji Nursing
Association have started trickling back to work. Three Fiji Nursing
Association members at Lautoka Hospital in the West have returned to
work, joining 10 others on Taveuni and a group from Labasa Hospital who
are the first to break strike solidarity. At Lautoka, six wards have
been closed, acting director Western Health Doctor Eloni Tora said. He
said nine retired or nurses who had resigned had been re-employed and
more were being contacted. ... Nurses

Come back to work, Bainimarama says

Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe
Bainimarama called on striking civil servants to return to work and
continue negotiations with the interim Government. He made the comment
while touring the Department of Water and Sewerage at Wailoku in Suva
yesterday and reiterated there would be no arbitration as long as those
providing essential services continued to work. "If these guys are
providing the service, there's no need for arbitration. Arbitration is
when everything breaks down and nothing has broken down," Commodore
Bainimarama said. ... Come

Picket line crews learn new skills

Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 Floral art, screen printing, patch work
knitting and chain prayers were the routine for nurses on strike in
Nausori yesterday. Supporting the strike was staff nurse Theresa
Tuinakele, who said this was the only option left for nurses since it
was becoming obvious the interim Government did not miss them and could
not guarantee the security of their jobs in the health industry. "This
(art classes) is about the only thing we can fall back on since the
interim Government looks likely to throw us out," she said. ... Picket

Fijian Strike Forces Government to Close Schools, Hire Workers

Emma O'Brien, Bloomberg, August 3, 2007 A strike by Fijian teachers,
nurses, cleaners and public servants forced the Pacific island nation's
caretaker government to order early school vacations and hire private
workers to provide public services. As many as 60 percent of the public
workforce stopped work yesterday, joining 1,200 nurses on strike since
July 25, according to Attar Singh, general secretary of the Fiji
Islands Council of Trade Unions. Labor unions want the government
installed after last December's military coup to reverse a 5 percent
wage cut and a reduction in the retirement age for state workers to 55
from 60. Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the army chief and interim prime

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