RNs - Fiji

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Nurses on strike after talks break down

Sera Nagusuca, Fiji Times, July 25, 2007 Members of the Fiji Nursing Association walked off their jobs at midnight last night after talks with the interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune on their grievances broke down. It was expected that 1676 nurses at 20 centres around the country would walk off their jobs after proposals on the restoration of the 5 per cent pay cut, the partnership agreement and compulsory retirement age were rejected by the interim regime. Association general secretary Kuini Lutua said they had told their members who were on duty at midnight to down tools and walk out. ... Nurses

Unions prepare for strike action

Public Services International, July 24, 2007 PSI has written a letter of support to its affiliate the Fiji Nursing Association as it waits for the outcome of a Cabinet meeting on the nurses' demands to reinstate wages to their previous level prior to the imposition of a five per cent pay cut in March 2007. Since taking power in a coup last December, Fiji's military government has cut the wages of public servants and reduced the compulsory retirement age in a bid to rein in spending. Some nurses are also contemplating leaving Fiji for Australia or New Zealand where they would receive better wages. ... Unions

Unions are ready

Sera Janine, Fiji Times, July 22, 2007 The Fiji Nursing Association and affiliates of the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions are firm on strike action this week, despite any show of intimidating or bullying tactics by the military and police. Reacting to the riot drill by the armed forces on national television on Friday, the concerned bodies say they will not be moved. With just two days to go before their strike date, the unionized nurses have indicated to their National Council that they will be ready to walk off their jobs. Footage of police and military personnel in full riot gear and firearms was shown on Fiji TV's One National News on Friday night. ... Unions

Borrow from FPNF, nurses tell State

Fijilive, July 22, 2007 The Fiji Nursing Association has suggested that the interim Government use $30m from the national pension fund to pay nurses wages and avoid a nationwide strike. The nurses maintain they want the interim Government to fully restore the 5 per cent civil pay cut imposed earlier this year and are not buying its excuse of lack of funds. FNA general secretary Kuini Lutua today questioned why the cash-strapped Government can not borrow money from the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) as it has done in the past. "Government usually borrows money from FNPF to meet its payments. If it can borrow to give to outside investors why can't it do the same and give $30m towards civil servants pay," said Lutua. ... Borrow

Public Service Minister reassured by Health Ministry on readiness

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, July 21, 2007 Interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune says he’s been reassured by the Health Ministry they it’s ready for any possible strike by nurses. Bune said the reaffirmation was given to him by Health Minister Dr Jona Senilagakali. He said final year students of the Fiji School of Nursing and other workers who have agreed not to go on strike may be mobilised to assist at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital and the Nausori and Lautoka hospitals. ... Public

Fijian midwives set to leave this Saturday

Marconi Calindas, Saipan Tribune, July 20, 2007 After years of serving the Commonwealth, six Fijian midwives will be boarding a plane this Saturday on a trip that will bring them back to Fiji, leaving behind the CNMI which has become like a second home to them. Alumita Koroi Bola, Lanieta Korok, Sereima Rabuku, Losana Rogoyawa, Lora Williams and Luisa Veikoso are set to leave the island this weekend and made a courtesy visit to Public Health Secretary Joseph Kevin P. Villagomez's office Tuesday afternoon. These Fijian midwives have a combined 80-plus years of service at the Commonwealth Health Center. ... Fijian

Bune Looking at FNA’s Revised Memorandum

fijivillage, July 20, 2007 The Interim Minister for Public Service Poseci Bune is now looking into the revised memorandum of agreement handed in by the Fiji Nursing Association before the two parties return to the negotiation table later today. After meeting with Bune for just over an hour this morning, FNA General Secretary Kuini Lutua was reluctant to discuss what transpired. Lutua only said that the Minister and the PSC are now looking at certain aspects of their proposal and have requested time to deliberate over the issue before they meet again this afternoon to try and reach a common ground. Lutua remains optimistic of a positive outcome. ... Bune

No agreement, strike still on: Nurses

Fijilive, July 20, 2007 A revised memorandum of agreement handed to the interim government by the Fiji Nursing Association yesterday has still not been agreed to following a meeting between the two parties this morning. FNA general secretary Kuini Lutua confirms that interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune is still not convinced with the agreement. "At the moment the minister is still looking at it and we will be meeting again this afternoon," said Lutua. "Nothing constructive has come out so far but we will leave it at that. We will also be discussing other issues today with the minister." ... No

Police prepare for strike

Fiji Times, July 20, 2007 The Police Force is expected to introduce 12-hour shift work for all personnel and put all leave on hold as part of its contingency plan for the proposed strike by unions. Police Commissioner, Esala Teleni neither denied nor confirmed the measures to be put in place next week. "We have a contingency plan in place for the strike," he said. All leave is expected to be put on hold and overtime hours extended as the force prepares for any impending industrial action. Police spokesman, Acting Superintendent Ulaiasi Ravula could not confirm any of the expected changes. He said they had not received any formal communication on the plans yet. ... Police

Fresh talks to avoid nurses' strike

Fijilive, July 20, 2007 A new proposal by Fiji nurses will be discussed with the interim Minister for Public Service Poseci Bune today in an effort to avert the nationwide strike in the next five days. Fiji Nursing Association general secretary Kuini Lutua said she will discuss an amended Memorandum of Agreement with Bune today. Bune is hoping that talks will be fruitful. The association has warned that about 1400 nurses will walk out of hospitals next Tuesday unless the Interim Government meets its demands. Three other public sector unions have threatened to go on strike on August 2. ... Fresh

Bune will meet FNA officials in an hour

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, July 20, 2007 Interim Public Service Minister Poseci Bune will meet Fijian Nursing Association officials in an hour. The association will be represented by president Simione Racola and general secretary Kuini Lutua. Bune says the association requested the meeting and hopes it can lead to a resolution ahead of the nurses’ planned strike scheduled to begin at midnight next Tuesday. The minister will meet with FICTU officials next Wednesday. Copyright © 2007, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Police deny illegal tactics

Amelia Vunileba, Fiji Times, July 20, 2007 A union has warned those intimidating their members they were in breach of workers' legal right to go on strike. Public Employees Union general secretary Pita Delana yesterday warned police officers intimidating PEU and Fiji Nursing Association members they were violating the workers' rights. "Police who have been intimidating members in Labasa and Nabouwalu through strike interviews are advised they are violating the workers' right to go on strike if their grievances are not met as provided for under the Trade Disputes Act." ... Police

Bune hopeful of deal with nurses

Fiji Times, July 20, 2007 The interim Minister for Public Service, Poseci Bune, is hopeful that resolutions will be reached following discussions with the Fiji Nursing Association today. A statement from the Information Ministry said the meeting between Mr Bune and FNA officials would discuss the nurses' concerns. "I hope to resolve and address some of the outstanding concerns they have," Mr Bune said. "But I have to make it quite clear that we have to be realistic. The interim Government can only afford one per cent restoration and the one per cent we have approved is not based on any improvement at all in the economy," he said. ... Bune

Singh alleges change of tune

Fiji Times, July 20, 2007 The Fiji Public Service Association has accused the Fiji Islands Council of Trade Unions of taking a free ride on the backs of nurses by changing their stand to match that of the Fiji Nursing Association in wanting the 5 per cent pay cut restored. Association general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the Confederation of Public Sector Unions had been reassured by the interim Government it would progressively restore the pay cut implemented earlier this year. ... Singh

Interim Administrations ready to take on retired nurses

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, July 19, 2007 The Interim Administrations is ready to take on retired nurses non unionized health workers and church volunteers to help maintain essential services in the event of a national strike by nurses. Cabinet decided yesterday the contingency plan would seek Catholic Church volunteers who are ready to help as orderlies and caregivers. Cabinet was briefed on the contingency plans by Police Commissioner Captain Esala Teleni The plan also seeks engagement to engage retired and third year student nurses. ... Interim

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