News and Comments Thursday 3 October 2013
MIDA: AKOULA TALKS OF PLANS. The newly appointed CEO of the Media Industry Development Authority Matai Akoula says he’s determined to lift the level of professionalism in the media industry and find solutions to the difficulties faced by media personnel, including the pay structure of every company. The two main areas will be to bring media personnel up to par with their Code of Ethics and training on the upcoming elections.
NEW UNION. The Warwick Resort and Spa Hotel workers have formed a new workers union after years of raising concerns with their old union the Fijian National Union of Hospitality Catering and Tourism Industries Employees, were not answered. Coral Coast Tourism Catering Workers Union General Secretary Kalaveti Batibasaga said after years of raising concerns with the Daniel Urai-led union, they have decided to form this union to look after hotel workers in the coral coast area.
ANZ NORMALISING RELATIONS WITH FIJI. The new Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her NZ equivalent Murray McCully recently held talks in New York on Fiji.
UNIONS WANT 110% PAY RISE. The Confederation of Public Sector Unions has given 14 days notice to the Public Service Commission to respond to its demand for a 110% pay rise for all civil servants so that all can catch up to the recent large increases awarded to Permanent Secretaries. The increases were recommended by the Price Waterhouse Cooper with the intention of attracting highly qualified applicants to these positions. Fiji Public Service Association, General Secretary, Rajeshwar Singh, says the Confederation has always based civil service pay rises on relativity. The union has not ruled out strike action.
AUSTRALIA BLOCKED LOANS TO FIJI. An ANU academic says he has evidence the Australian Government sought to block World Bank and other international loans to Fiji. The accusation is denied by the Government. The block certainly harmed the Fiji economy and people but it had no effect on changing the Fiji Government which was its intention.
MONASAVU LANDOWNERS. In 2005 Monasavu landowners won their compensation case against the Fiji Electricity Authority and were paid more than $50 million. Government has offered to assist the 12 landowning units in Monasavu on how to best to use and invest this money. At present 40% is invested and 60% is shared among mataqali members. but some members would like it all invested. Landowners are paid annually and will have the last say on the proposal.
ELECTION EXPERTS. Six election experts, two each from Australia, NZ and the EU, are expected in the country soonto assist preparations for next year's election.
JOBS UP 11.5% according to the Reserve Bank. So also are business confidence, investment, inward remittances, new lending, and production, except in the gold industry.
RFMF ENGINEERS are active in a number rural construction and repair activities in rural areas,
PM CHAIRED the special session of the 87-country member International Sugar Organisation in London on Tuesday. The main objective of the two-day meeting was to elect the new executive. Several ISO delegates expressed their appreciation on the warm hospitality and the successful outcome of the Council session in Fiji.
LINKS TO FIJI FOCUS AND NATIONS BUSINESS PROGRAMME. http://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Center/Fiji-Focus.aspx