SOLOMONS UNION SLAMS LAWMAKERS SALARY INCREASE

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Dec. 31) - President of the Solomon Islands Council of Trade Union and General Secretary of the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union Clement Waiwori has lashed out against recommendations approved by the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission for salary and allowance increases to Members of Parliament.

Mr Waiwori says the action is very irresponsible when public servants who have been working hard for the government had not received a pay increase for the past eight years were denied a meager wage increase by the government.

The Trade Disputes Panel recently awarded lawmakers a 2.5 percent salary increase backdated to January 2003 and an 8 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) award backdated to 2002.

However, the Acting Minister for Commerce and Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza only endorsed the two-point-five percent salary increase to be effective January 2004 and rejected the COLA award.

Mr Waiwori says the action reflects a government that does not care about its workers and focus more on its own interests.

He adds that this may be one reason why the Prime Minister did not accept the Trade Disputes Panel awards so that members of parliament can get their salary and entitlements increases.

Mr Waiwori says this is unacceptable when low paid workers who are trying every day to make ends meet have been denied a small wage increase while those already getting high salaries and entitlements like the members of Parliament continue to increase their salary and allowances.

December 31, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.: www.sibconline.com.sb

 

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