RNs - Fiji

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Unions await vetting of votes

Fiji Times, May 12, 2007 The Confederation of Public Sector Unions is waiting for the Ministry of Labour to confirm the secret ballot results of its affiliates, says chairman Rajeshwar Singh. Mr Singh said the Fiji Public Service Association had already received the confirmation of its secret ballot result from the ministry. But he said the Fiji Nurses Association and the Fiji Teachers Union were still waiting for their results to be confirmed. He said once the ministry gave its clearance the affiliates would meet to discuss the next step. ... Unions

Industrial action still on the table

Fiji Times, May 10, 2007 Administrative matters are still being sorted out for a trade union confederation before the issue of industrial action is addressed. Fiji Public Service Association general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said one affiliate had received its certification from the Ministry of Labour confirming receiving results of their secret ballot, while the other two affiliates the Fiji Nurses Association (FNA) and the Fiji Teachers Unions were still awaiting their results. "We're waiting for these two to get clearance that their secret ballot has been confirmed by the Ministry of Labour," Mr Singh said. "Once they've done that we'll meet." Mr Singh said this was holding up their meeting. ... Industrial

Lutua denies money issue

Fiji Times, May 10, 2007 It's not about the money but the quality of care that nurses provide which is going to be reduced, says Fiji Nurses Association secretary Kuini Lutua. She was responding to comments by the Health Ministry's director Corporate Services Asaeli Tamanitoakula who said nurses were asking to work overtime because they needed the money. "That's not true," Mrs Lutua said. "The quality of care has to be maintained at the standard of the patient and that can only happen if the nurse is satisfied and has a manageable workload." ... Lutua

Health exhausts overtime budget

Fiji Times, May 9, 2007 The Ministry of Health has exhausted its $485,000 budget for overtime pay for the nurses at Colonial War Memorial Hospital, says Asaeli Tamanitoakula, director corporate services at the ministry. Mr Tamanitoakula was responding to Fiji Nursing Association general secretary Kuini Lutua's comments yesterday. Ms Lutua said a verbal directive was issued to nurses at the CWM Hospital on Monday. She said nurses were told they would not be paid overtime and those who were called to work overtime would get a day off. ... Health

No word from ministry on report

Fiji Times, May 7, 2007 Labour Minister Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau has yet to be briefed on the outcome of the Fiji Public Service Commission secret ballot report which had been lodged with her ministry. FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said the report on the outcome of the secret ballots were sitting with the ministry but no response had been forthcoming as yet. He said the union had provided everything in the report and while the outcome should have been known in weeks, it was taking much longer than that. Mr Singh said a month had passed but there was still no word from the ministry. ... No

Nurses tote up strike votes

Fiji Times, May 6, 2007 The Fiji Nurses Association is now in the process of compiling its report on the outcome of the secret ballots it conducted. The report will then be lodged with the Ministry of Labour, general secretary Kuini Lutua said. She said secret balloting had been completed and the result should be majority support for strike action. "There was more than 80 per cent support for the strike mandate and now we're following through with the process where we lodge the report of the outcome with the ministry," she said. ... Nurses

Battle ready unions seek dialogue

Fijilive, May 4, 2007 Fiji's public sector unions will be engaging in further talks with the Government although most of their members have opted for strike action over pay cuts and proposed redundancies. This follows the strike mandate given the Fijian Teachers Association by its members yesterday. The indigenous teachers association was the only major union yet to make its decision on a strike mandate before yesterday. The Fiji Public Service Association, Fiji Teachers Union and the Fiji Nurses Association, affiliates of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions, have already secured a mandate to stage a nationwide strike. ... Battle

Minister: there will be no strike

Fiji Times, April 30, 2007 Interim Minister for Health Doctor Jona Senilagakali believes nurses will not follow through on their threats to go on strike, even after the Fiji Nursing Association unanimously agreed in principle to take industrial action. Dr Jona said he believed this would be the case which was why he maintained his stand to call their bluff. The nurses are up in arms over several issues, including low salaries and poor work conditions. ... Minister

Fiji nurses approve strike action

Radio New Zealand International, April 29, 2007 Nurses in Fiji have agreed in principle to go on strike for better salaries and working conditions. The TRN Nursing Association president, Kuini Lutua, said the action was support by a secret ballot held at the association’s annual general meeting in Suva. The Fiji Times says 87 per cent of nurses who voted were in favour of opposing the 5 per cent pay-cut on civil servants "through all legitimate means including industrial action". Ms Lutua said a national council meeting this week would decide their next course of action pending further discussions with the interim Government. ... Fiji

Strike option left for last

Fiji Times, April 29, 2007 Nurses have agreed in principle to go on strike for better salaries and work conditions. TRN Nursing Association president Kuini Lutua said this was indicated after a secret ballot held at the association's annual general meeting in Suva yesterday. "We are fighting for the good of the health service in the country,'' said Ms Lutua. She said 87 per cent of nurses who voted were in favour of opposing the 5 per cent pay-cut on civil servants "through all legitimate means including industrial action". Ms Lutua said their national council meeting next week would decide their next course of action pending further discussions with the interim Government. ... Strike

New retirement age could see 3000 jobless

Fiji Times, April 29, 2007 An estimated 3000 nurses in the country stand to lose their jobs if the interim Government goes ahead and lowers the retirement age to 55 from 60. This was one of the key issues discussed at the TRN Nursing Association annual general meeting in Suva yesterday. It is also one of the reasons why the FNA, whose affiliates number more than 1400, is deciding to take industrial action. The nurses who stand to lose their jobs because of the new retirement age policy include established and unestablished staff in all major hospitals and clinics around the country. ... New

Underpaid nurses opt to seek better deal overseas

Fiji Times, April 29, 2007 Nurses are leaving the country at the rate of more than 100 a year because work conditions and their salary levels are not good. TRN Nursing Association general secretary Kuini Lutua said the primary reason nurses left our shores for greener pastures overseas was for better pay and conditions which have not improved in the past three years. Mrs Lutua said while the Ministry of Health had managed to address the pay issue to some extent between the 2003 and 2004 period, the downturn in the economy caused by the military takeover last December, had worsened conditions for them. ... Underpaid

Fijian nurses agree to national strike

ABC Radio, April 28, 2007 Members of the Fiji Nursing Association have voted in favour of going on a national strike. They'll join other public servants in protest against a five per cent pay cut imposed by Fiji's Interim Government. The Fiji Live website reports more than 80 per cent of the nurses in the association agreed to take industrial action after a secret ballot conducted around the country. ... Fijian

Nurses to go ahead with strike

Fijilive, April 28, 2007 Members of the Fiji Nursing Association have voted in favour of going on a national strike in protest against a five per cent pay cut imposed by the Interim Government. More than 80 per cent of the nurses in the association agreed to take industrial action in a secret ballot conducted around the country. FNA general secretary Kuini Lutua said more members who could not vote previously cast their votes at their Annual General Meeting in Suva today. ... Nurses

Nurses credit will provide comfort for patients

Fiji Times, April 27, 2007 Patients can choose to stay in a more luxurious homely environment at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital after the opening of the new Fiji Nursing and Associates Credit Union room. The room, located at the hospital's paying ward section, was initiated in 1992 and funded by the union members. The room features a refrigerator, an air-conditioning system, comfortable seats and a more comfortable bed. It was opened by one of the union's founders, Vincent Lobendahn. ... Nurses

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