MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 4:00PM 11/02/13

CAPTION:?Labour Minster with Ministry staff based in the western division during his tour there recently.

 

1. AWARENESS ON THE PERFORMANCE BASED PAY SYSTEM BEGINS – The Public Service Commission (PSC) has begun awareness sessions to Ministries and Departments on assessment criteria and processes for the Performance Based Pay System.

 

2. PUBLIC RAISE CONCERNS WITH LABOUR MINISTER – The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Mr Jone Usamate recently met with the public in the Western Division to hear firsthand labour related grievances.

 

3. MINISTER ENCOURAGES WESTERN STAFF TO BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED – The Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate recently met with Labour officials based in the Western Division and encouraged them to be more customer focused.

 

 

1 AWARENESS ON THE PERFORMANCE BASED PAY SYSTEM BEGINS

 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has begun awareness sessions to Ministries and Departments on assessment criteria and processes for the Performance Based Pay System.

 

The Commission?s acting permanent secretary Iliesa Lutu, said the target group for this awareness program includes officers in the administration cadre within ministries and departments.

 

?They must undergo this important training so that they are able to disseminate the same information within their Ministries and Departments. The training will also ensure that officers are familiar with the requirements in the performance assessment form as well as ensure proper documentation of the planned activities of work done throughout the year,? Mr Lutu said.

 

Civil servants have been made aware of the implementation of the performance pay system since November 2011 during the Prime Minister?s 2012 Budget Address.

 

Ministries and Departments will be expected to assess performance of their respective staff for 12 months ending 31 December 2012 using the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) template and will need to forward their forms to PSC by March 31st this year.

 

?Pending from forms received, PSC will then be able to estimate the cost of the payout to civil servants in 2014,? Mr Lutu said.

 

Furthermore, he said that the new system will bring about a more efficient and responsive civil service that is highly motivated and dynamic.

 

?Civil servants will be rewarded for their hard work,? he added.

 

The PSC awareness team will be scheduling visits to Ministries and Departments every Wednesday for the months of February and March. They began last week by calling on the Prime Minister?s Office, the Defense/National Security and Immigration Office and the Information, National Archives and Library Services Office.

 

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2 PUBLIC RAISE CONCERNS WITH LABOUR MINISTER

The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Mr Jone Usamate recently met with the public in the Western Division to hear firsthand labour related grievances.

 

Minister Usamate travelled to Sigatoka and Nadi to address issues raised by the public which included the arrears of wages, unfair dismissal, injuries sustained during working hours, non-existence of contracts of service, non-deduction of FNPF, unpaid allowances, foreign employment, foreign employment agencies, failure of employers to attend mediation and non-existence of grievance procedures.
This initiative by the Labour Ministry is in line with government?s commitment towards an open door policy and making the Ministry?s services more accessible to the public.

 

Minister Usamate said this approach encourages people to raise their grievances and issues with the Ministry without any hesitation or fear.

 

?At times workers are not keen to raise their grievances and exploitation at the workplaces with the Ministry in the fear of being terminated or being further victimized. From this Road Show we want to assure the members of the public that their grievances are our priority and we are here to resolve them and provide social justice to those who are being abused and deprived of their employment rights,? he said.

 

Various queries on terms and conditions of employment and employment rights, OHS and Workers Compensation were received and addressed with optimum advice provided by the Minister and team during the sessions.
Cases which cannot be resolved during these sessions and require in-depth information through proper investigations have been recorded and will be processed according to the Ministry?s procedures and grieved workers will be advised within a time frame of two months.

Mr Usamate affirmed that employers who have abused the rights of their workers and consequently breached the provisions of the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP 2007) will be taken to task. Investigations will also be conducted on breaches of OHS and other Labour laws.

Following consultations in other parts of the western division, the Ministry is expected to conduct similar meetings in the central division.

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3 MINISTER ENCOURAGES WESTERN STAFF TO BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED

The Minister for Labour Mr Jone Usamate recently met with Labour officials based in the Western Division and encouraged them to be more customer focused.

On a recent consultations tour to the western division, the Minister met with the staff and urged them to ?think smart, think big and take the challenges?.

Mr Usamate visited the Ministry?s Sigatoka Office and briefed the staff on the importance of carrying out the vision and mission of the Ministry in their everyday work.

He explained that in order to enhance the Ministry?s service delivery, the Ministry?s vision which is ?Decent and Productive Work for all? and mission – ?Ensuring Social justice, good faith employment relations and safe and productivity driven workplaces in Fiji? must be embedded in their work practices and applied on a daily duties.

?Social justice is making sure that what we do in the ministry is done properly. There will be challenges while performing your duty, but you have to be responsive and serve the people to the best of your ability,? he said.

While the Minister reminded the staff on their responsibilities, he urged them to serve the public with great consciousness and responsibility.

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