Nurses leave strike action for last

Fiji Times, July 25, 2005

Strike will be the last resort for Fiji Nursing Association if the Public Service Commission does not amend members' salaries.

"Having a strike is the last resort we are contemplating if talks do not consider our plight seriously," FNA general secretary Kuini Lutua said yesterday.

Ms Lutua said they would be informing their members all over the country today on their decision.

The association had earlier said of seeking a mandate to strike because of a breach of agreement by the Public Service Commission over salaries.

Ms Lutua said their office received calls on Thursday from nurses around the country complaining about the cut in their salary and payment made by the Government for those who were overpaid.

The commission had agreed to sort out the problems faced by the 800 nurses who had been underpaid first before looking at the overpayment made to more than 400 members.

Ms Lutua said the nurses withdrew from strike action then after the assurance was given last year.

Ministry of Health chief executive Doctor Lepani Waqatakirewa said yesterday the FNA members' salary grievance was before the commission and the commission had to deal with it.

"The ministry has nothing to do with it but if the ministry is needed to bring about a solution we will do something," Dr Waqatakirewa said.

He added health service provisions around the country would be adversely affected if association members go on strike.

Commission chief executive Anare Jale was not available for a comment yesterday.

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