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University dispute speedily resolved

Avinesh Gopal
Sunday, May 18, 2014

A POTENTIAL strike by the University of the South Pacific Staff Union has been averted.

It is the result of successful mediation between the union and the university, facilitated by the Labour Ministry.

An Information Ministry statement said the potential strike threat by the USP Staff Union had been resolved.

Labour Minister Jone Usamate confirmed in the statement that the permanent secretary of Ministry of Labour, Taito Waqa had received a 21-day strike notice earlier in the week from the university's staff union.

"To speedily defuse the potential strike threat, the ministry activated informal mediation to facilitate discussions and try to resolve the disputes between the parties," the statement said.

Mr Usamate said the ministry's mediator Harbans Narayan provided mediation between the parties.

After intensive mediation sessions over two days, the parties reached an amicable resolution on Friday, resulting in an agreement settling the union's claims for medical benefits.

In good faith, the USP Staff Union withdrew its notice to seek strike mandate from its members, the statement said.

Mr Usamate applauded the university and its representative Heather Stadel and her management team, and the union's general secretary Litiana Waqalevu for acting in good faith in finding an amicable resolution to the dispute.

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