1. GOVERNMENT BEGINS FIJI’S FIRST EVER NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE BASELINE SURVEY – The Ministry for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment will begin the country’s first ever National Minimum Wage Baseline Survey in all the four (4) divisions of the country on 6th of May and end on the 31st of May, 2013.
2. I-TAUKEI SCHOLARSHIPS OPEN FOR SECOND SEMESTER – THE Government funded scholarship offered to iTaukei and Rotuman students through the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is now open to applicants for the second semester this year in local institutions.
3. LABOUR MINISTER ROADSHOW FOR THE CENTRAL EASTERN DIVISION – The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment will continue with its Central Eastern Division Road Show from Tuesday the 7th of May 2013 commencing with Nasinu Town.
1 GOVERNMENT BEGINS FIJI’S FIRST EVER NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE BASELINE SURVEY
The Ministry for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment will begin the country’s first ever National Minimum Wage Baseline Survey in all the four (4) divisions of the country on 6th of May and end on the 31st of May, 2013.
Labour Minister Jone Usamate said this first ever exercise in Fiji conducted in partnership with academic Dr Mahendra Reddy of the Fiji National University will be covering all sectors of the economy, including organisations covered under the existing ten (10) sectors covered under the Wages Regulations Orders and also those involving individual bargaining between employers and workers.
This will result in the determination and introduction of a national minimum wage, the hourly rate below which all sectoral minimum wage rates must not be allowed to fall.
Mr Usamate affirmed that the survey will assess existing wage levels in Fiji’s labour market including conditions of employment in the context of the requirements under the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007 (ERP) and the ten (10) current Wages Regulation Orders (WROs) against the backdrop of the economy.
He added that a framework will also be developed to periodically review the national minimum wage based on the agreed social and economic factors provided for in the ILO Minimum Wage Fixing Convention, 1970 (No. 131) and its Minimum Wage FixingRecommendation 135. The first national minimum wage set will be used as the benchmark or reference point from which future possible adjustments will be made.
The Ministry confirms that throughout the country, there are around 6,706 enterprises with 171,865 workers and out of these enterprises, 4,065 are covered under the Wages Regulation Orders and 2,641 are enterprises where workers are employed through individual bargaining.
“For the purpose of the survey, a ten (10) percent sample was randomly selected resulting in the selection of 17,331 workers to be interviewed from within 2,617 enterprises inclusive of micro, small, medium and large organisation in the survey,” Mr Usamate said.
The survey will be conducted in a targeted timeline of one (1) month by the Ministry of Labour officers and 88 volunteers recruited from the National Employment Centre (NEC) database, capitalising on Governments employment creation initiative to add value to the lives of our unemployed. Dr Reddy conducted the relevant training this week on the survey for all volunteers and staff involved in the survey.
Dr Reddy will also be conducting stakeholder workshops on findings of national minimum wage survey following a presentation of the report to the Labour Minister for Cabinet endorsement of national minimum wage and its review mechanism.
The Minister highlighted that this is in line with Government’s commitment under the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress (PCCPP) towards reducing poverty to a negligible level by 2015 and at the same time enhancing productivity.
Mr Usamate appeals to all employers and stakeholders to cooperate with the Ministry to accomplish this significant task that will propel our country forward to where both workers and employers fully benefit from the fruit of their labour.
2 I-TAUKEI SCHOLARSHIPS OPEN FOR SECOND SEMESTER
THE Government funded scholarship offered to iTaukei and Rotuman students through the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is now open to applicants for the second semester this year in local institutions.
Interested candidates have been invited to apply for the various disciplines that are available in local universities.
Courses that are being offered includes undergraduate, postgraduate and masters programmes at University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University and University of Fiji.
Tuition will also be paid for successful candidates for course in the School of Nursing at Sangam Institute of Technology, Labasa, Fulton College and Corpus Christi Teachers College.
The Ministry’s permanent secretary Mr Savenaca Kaunisela said the awarding of scholarship will be based on merit taking into account the academic attainment and if applicable, the relevant experience.
He said that applicants need to have a placement with the institutes and be free of any bonding arrangements before the commencement of the award offered.
The courses offered and the selection criteria together with other information pertaining to the scholarship will be advertised in the Fiji Sun on:
- · 04/105/2013
- · 11/05/2013
- · 18/05/2013
Forms are available at all Divisional Offices, District Offices, Provincial Offices, and the iTaukei Affairs Scholarship Unit, iTaukei Building Trust Fund Office Complex, 87 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Nasese, Suva.
Forms can also be downloaded from the Ministry website www.itaukeiaffairs.gov.fj.
Applications close on May 20, 2013 and no late applications will be allowed.
3 LABOUR MINISTER ROADSHOW FOR THE CENTRAL EASTERN DIVISION
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment will continue with its Central Eastern Division Road Show from Tuesday the 7th of May 2013 commencing with Nasinu Town.
The consultation will take place next week at the various venues provided below:
- · Nasinu Town – Rishikul College Hall
- · Tuesday 07/05/13 (5.30pm—7.30pm)
- · Lami Town—Lami Catholic Parish Hall
- · Wednesday 08/05/13 (5.30pm—7.30pm)
- · Navua Town—Serua/Namosi Provincial Administrators Conference Room
- · Ro Matanitobua House—Thursday 09/05/13 (12.00pm—2.00pm)
The Minister for Labour Jone Usamate highlighted that since the Ministry is focused on assisting Fijian workers, employers and the general public, they are providing this opportunity to consult on any work or labour related issues they have.
Minister Usamate said that “people who live in these vicinities should take this opportunity to come and meet the Ministry team to raise all issues that they may have”.
“Government is focused on meeting people’s needs and has taken this step of bringing its consultation right to the people.
“I look forward to meeting members of the public and to listen to the issues that they raise.”
“Our focus is to resolve all issues raised and to ensure that my Ministry’s vision of providing social justice, developing good faith relationships and developing safe and productive workplaces becomes a reality”.
The Ministry held similar road shows in the Western division from 6th – 8th February, and to the Northern division from 18th – 22ndMarch respectively and have completed the first road show for the Central division which began in Nausori on Wednesday 1st May 2013.
Further consultations will be held in Levuka and Kadavu with the dates to be confirmed soon.