Felix Anthony, National Secretary, FTUC , speaks on status of progress with Government on the recent MOU signed in Geneva.
Talks have concluded on first part of the draft Bill.
The first part restores the right to collective bargaining and freedom of Association to all workers in Fiji. It also makes the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 applicable to all workers. These include civil servants and workers who were previously covered under the Essential National Industries Decree. (ENI). Part 19 of the ERP is repealed to include provisions for essential services.
Areas of disagreement remain in some fundamental issues.
2. Right to strike
3. Bargaining Units.
These issues will be pursued further as they remain non compliant to the core ILO Conventions.
4. Reinstatement of Unions in industries that fell under ENI.
5. Reinstatement of collective agreements.
6. Address disputes and court actions that were discontinued by the ENI.
These Decrees will be repealed
1. ENI Decree
2. Employment Relations (Amendment) Decree
3. Public Service (amendment) Decree
This Bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday 22nd May 2015 as Bill No. 10 of 2015. This will be sent to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee and will be debated in Parliament in the July session.
Progress has been made. There are a number of other issues that need to be addressed which were reviewed by the Employment Relations Board earlier. This will be done commencing around the third week in June and we hope to have these amendments in Parliament in July.
This is work in progress so far. A lot more to be accomplished in the near future for workers of this country.