Government agrees to discuss PSA's concerns over appointment of acting chief secretary and secretary to cabinet

Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Samiu Vaipulu met with Public Service Association (PSA) yesterday to discuss matters related to what it claimed as “unlawful employment of the Acting Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet”, Mr ʻAholotu Palu.

The PSA demanded that the Finance Minister Hon. Dr. ʻAisake Eke immediately resigns from his ministerial post.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Lord Tuʻivakanō PSA also said it was extremely concerned by the resignation of the PSC’s commissioners and CEO following a decision made by cabinet not to support an appointment they made for a new chairperson for the Public Service Commission. Kaniva News has been informed the Deputy Prime Minister, who is currently the acting Prime Minister,  has yet to accept the resignation.

PSA claimed the Finance Minister Hon. Dr. ‘Aisake Eke supported a decision made by cabinet to dissolve the PSC because they delayed re-appointing Palu as an interim Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet.

Kaniva’s attempts to obtain comments from the Prime Minister’s Office were unsuccessful.

The PSA also claims Hon. Eke refused to recommend to Cabinet “a fair and just COLA for the employees in Government in the past 8 months”.

It also said it was ready to take “strike action” if government ignores its demands.

The letter was sent yesterday Thursday 25 to the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. It was immediately responded to by the Deputy Prime Minister.

PSA says Hon. Vaipulu promised in yesterday’s meeting that further “Talanoa” (talks) will be conducted between PSA and government until they resolve the issues.

“The PSA is grateful for this first step made by the Acting PM to resolve the issues before an industrial takes place,” PSA’s Secretary General Mele ‘Amanaki said.

PSA previously threatened to go on strike claiming government did not fully keep to its promise for a 5 percent rise it promised at the beginning of this year. The association announced it will go on strike next month.

The strike threat loomed last week after the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) CEO and its commissioners tendered their resignations claiming the government of Prime Minister Lord Tuʻivakanō did not support the appointment of a chairperson for the PSC chosen by a panel that involved  PSC’s CEO Dr Pelenatina Langa’oi, PSC’s commissioner Finau Tutone, Tonga’s Auditor General Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, CEO for the Ministry of Information Paula Ma’u and Minister of Education, Dr ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news