TONGA STRIKERS REJECT LATEST OFFER

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 2 ) – Tonga's striking civil servants rejected a new offer from government on Monday, while the PSA says it will call out doctors and nurses and airport workers later this week if they can't get more money.

The new offer was for a 10% increase for Levels 2-5, 15% for Levels 6-10, and 20% for Levels 11-14A.

Maliu Takai, the vice president of the Public Servants Association Interim Committee, said the new offer was not acceptable, considering the 3,000 striking civil servants would not be happy if they came back with figures that were lower than what had been agreed and recommended to Government at the start of the strike.

He added that they submitted conditions the PSA wanted Government to accept before strikers would return to work, and their mandate of 60, 70, 80% pay increases still stands.

The PSA also requires that for all the striking civil servants to return to work, their basic wages over the period of the strike should not be taken away.

A cabinet meeting was held after their meeting on Monday.

Maliu said that if the Government's stance on the strike remained the same this week, they are looking at other avenues to use in their strike.

He said they would call on all doctors and nurses and workers at the airport to walk out from their workplaces. Although these groups had given their support at the start but they were advised by the PSA to continue working because of the patients.

"Second to that, is the avenue of going to the King, and we have a Strategy Committee that is working on that because the striking civil servants have accepted it. The wait now is to look at an appropriate time," said Maliu.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html

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