The University of the South Pacific Union President, Reuben Colata says industrial action will be the next step for the union if USP does not approve their pay increment.
Colata says they do not know why the university does not want to negotiate a salary increase.
He says the university has about $80 million in its savings with another $19 million given by the government this year and with that amount of money, they can pay the staff rather than allow the staff to bargain for their salary.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says he encourages the staff to engage with the management and indeed with the council to resolve this issue and he hopes that those issues will be resolved.
Professor Biman says the Coalition Government believes in academic freedom and whatever they do as they say at the University Council concerning the demands of staff and also values the freedom that workers in this country need.
The USP Council meeting is still underway at the USP Japan ICT Centre and it will continue tomorrow.
The USP staff had a silent protest today after their Staff Paper was not allowed to be part of the council’s agenda. They are calling for the Staff Paper to be discussed by the USP Council which includes the issues about the staff pay increment demand.
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