RNs - Fiji

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Fiji to hire strike-breaking contractors

AAP, August 3, 2007 The Fiji government is looking to bring in private
contractors to provide public services as four of the Pacific nation's
public sector unions continue strike action. The workers - including
4000 teachers, 1500 nurses and other employees of the military-led
government - are protesting a five per cent pay cut and the reduction
in the retirement age from 60 to a mandatory 55 imposed by the interim
government. They want the cost-cutting measures fully restored. Public
Service Ministry permanent secretary Taina Tagicakibau told the Fiji
Live website that the contracting out of public services had always
been an intention of public sector reform program, but the strike

Public sector strikes grow amid death threats, intimidation

Asher, libcom.org, August 3, 2007 A week long strike by 1400 nurses in
Fiji expanded on Thursday as 1000 teachers and 300 public works, water
and sewerage workers also began strike action. They are demanding the
reversal of a 5% pay cut and the changing of the retirement age from 60
to 55, and an additional 10% pay rise. The pay cut and change in
retirement age were announced shortly after the military government
took power in a coup last December. Earlier this week the military and
police detained union leader Taniela Tabu, during which time they made
deaths threats against him and demanded he pass on death threats to two

Businesses look to end

Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 The quicker the strike by nurses, teachers
and civil servants is resolved, the better it will be for the economy,
says Fiji Chamber of Commerce president Swani Maharaj. He said the
strike would affect the business community because it would cause a
chain reaction. Workers on strike will not be paid, which means they
will cut back on spending. "It is unfortunate this would lead to the
contraction of the economy. I feel that the quicker it is resolved the
better it would be as far as the economy's recovery is concerned," Mr
Maharaj said. Fiji Retailers Association president Himmat Lodhia said
small retailers who were allied to the health sector were already

Striking nurses contemplate overseas move

Fijivillage, August 2, 2007 The striking nurses have discovered other
avenues to move them forward and that is to continue their mission in
the Nursing field overseas. General Secretary, Kuini Lutua confirms
some of the nurses who are on strike have already got their visas to
work abroad. However, they will only stay back if their needs are met.
The nurses’ strike are currently into their 10th day of strike. © 2007
FijiVillage.com | All rights reserved

Some Fiji nurses said to be returning to work

Radio New Zealand International, August 2, 2007 Some of the nurses in
Fiji who went on strike 10 days ago are reported to be breaking ranks
with their colleagues and are returning to work. The Fiji Times reports
that some nurses in Lautoka, Labasa and Taveuni have come back to work.
Earlier small numbers of nurses in Suva, Nausori and other centres had
returned. In Lautoka nurses who had retired or resigned have been
re-employed. The Lautoka spokesperson for the Fiji Nurses Association,
Miriama Suli, is quoted as saying nurses who want to return to work can
do so but the rest of them will wait for the all clear from their
leaders in Suva. ... Some

State urged to keep promise

Fiji Times, August 2, 2007 The 31 nurses on strike in Ba have called on
the interim Government to be mindful of the promises they made about
looking after the welfare of Fiji's workers. They were responding to
comments by interim Health Minister, Doctor Jona Senilagakali, that
striking nurses should remember the oath they took about caring for the
sick and return to work. Ba nurses representative, Sister Kelera Ara
said while they were well aware of their oath, the interim ministers
should first start living up to their promises before they demanded
anything from anyone else. Sister Ara said the nurses could no longer
work under the deplorable conditions they were subjected to. ... State

Fijian police guarding schools, union HQ amid strikes

Fairfax New Zealand, August 3, 2007 Fijian police are guarding schools
left without staff as a massive strike by 10,000 public sector workers
continues. The workers – including 4000 teachers, 1500 nurses and other
people employed by the military-led government – were protesting a five
per cent pay cut and the reduction in the retirement age from 60 to a
mandatory 55. The teachers' strike began at 8 AM yesterday, adding to
disruption caused by the eight-day strike already undertaken by the
1500 members of the Fiji Nursing Association. Fijian police
commissioner Esala Teleni has told the striking workers while it was
legal to picket inside private compounds, it wasn't to protest inside

Arbitration is the only way

Verenais Raicola, Fiji Times, August 3, 2007 Public Employees Union
workers walked off their jobs yesterday, putting pressure on the regime
to go to arbitration. Three union representatives and the interim
Minister for Labour all agree the only way out of the strike will be
through arbitration. Interim Labour Minister Bernadette Ganilau said
yesterday the best way to get out of the mess was through arbitration
even though the decision to call for that is with the interim Prime
Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. ... Arbitration

Bune confirms FNA approach interim govt with new proposal

Fijivillage, August 3, 2007 The Minister for Public Service, Poseci
Bune has confirmed that the Fiji Nursing Association has approached for
the Government with new proposal. Speaking to Village Bune said that
executives have approached them today for further dialogue. According
to Bune, talks will be held between the Permanent Secretary, Taina
Tagicakibau and executives of the Fiji Nursing Association and general
Secretary, Kuini Lutua. Comments from Lutua are expected later today.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry confirms that operations at the various
hospitals are continuing and the nurse work force is increasing
everyday. It has been confirmed that all the orderlies remain at work
while two nurses who were on strike returned to work at the Lautoka

Pressure growing in Fiji

TVNZ, August 2, 2007 School holidays in Fiji have been brought forward
to Monday as teachers join a nationwide strike by public servants.
Tension is mounting in the country as thousands of workers take strike
action and a union leader alleges military death threats. Around 14,000
public servants are on strike, closing schools and leaving hospitals
only taking emergency cases. They are protesting against a 5% cut to
their pay and the lowering of the retirement age from 60 to 55. The
strike has the potential to cripple the already struggling nation and
is putting Fiji's turbulent political landscape under even more
pressure. ... Pressure

Teachers join nurses striking in Fiji

TV3 News, August 2, 2007 Another sector joined the striking nurses in
Fiji today as turmoil in the public sector continued. About 1000
teachers took industrial action in the form of a peaceful sit-in. But
Fiji’s Police Commissioner urged unions and all Fijians to remain calm
and act within the law. At the teachers’ union headquarters in central
Suva, striking took the form of unity songs, speeches from union reps
and kava. After threats from the military and warnings from police,
union organisers ensured the protest was peaceful. The teachers were
joined by some striking nurses whom police tried to stop at the gate.

Workers stage mass strike in Fiji

NZPA, August 2, 2007 About 10,000 public service workers have gone on
strike in Fiji, with the interim government bracing itself for a
drawn-out affair. The workers want full restoration of their recent 5
per cent civil service pay cut, among other demands. Interim Prime
Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has said the Government will not
give in to the unions. The strike began at 8 AM today, compounding an
eight-day strike already undertaken by the 4000 members of the Fiji
Nursing Association. ... Workers

Fijians Strike Over Cuts to Pay Since December's Military Coup

Emma O'Brien, Bloomberg, August 2, 2007 More than 11,000 Fijian
teachers, cleaners, nurses and public servants went on strike today
over cuts to pay and the retirement age since the military staged a
coup in the Pacific island nation last December. Labor unions called
the protest after the caretaker government reduced the retirement age
for state workers to 55 from 60 and cut wages by 5 percent. The protest
is politically motivated, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the army chief
and caretaker prime minister, said. “The aim is to convince them to
finally meet our demands because arbitration over the last few months
just hasn't worked,” Attar Singh, general secretary of the Fiji Islands
Council of Trade Unions, said by phone from the capital, Suva. “Our

Fiji workers defy military in strike over pay

AFP, August 2, 2007 Suva - Up to 10,000 government workers in Fiji went
on strike Thursday in defiance of the military regime to protest pay
cuts imposed after December's coup, according to union estimates. Coup
leader and self-proclaimed interim prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama
said essential services were being maintained despite the walkout by
unions representing 4,000 teachers and 6,000 other state workers. They
joined about 1,500 nurses who have been on strike since Wednesday last
week. The strike is over regime's decision in March to cut government
pay by five per cent due to the economic crisis which has developed
since the December 5 bloodless coup. ... Fiji

Ba Mission Hospital nurses will continue with strike

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, August 2, 2007 The Fiji Nursing
Association’s Ba branch president Ivona Tavuki says striking nurses at
Ba Mission Hospital will not go back to work until their demands are
met. Tavuki who is heading 29 striking nurses says they will also
continue to support their general secretary Kuini Lutua. Tavuki says
the nurses want to go back and serve the community but the onus on the
Government to understand their situation. “Well actually we miss the
community we serve its just because we want a fair deal too so we are
sitting down once its solved we will go back to our individual work
place and serve the community which we serve we want five per cent to
be restored if only that’s done whatever our grievances were if its met

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