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Fiji Time: 1:52 PM on Tuesday 2 September

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Museum staff suffer

Monday, September 24, 2007

THE Fiji Museum Board of Trustees chairman, Winston Thompson said staff pay was cut by 50 per cent because income from admissions had dropped to almost zero after the coup.

He was reacting to criticism by 24 full-time employees who say they are struggling to survive. Mr Thompson said before the coup the museum would rake in up to $10,000 a month from admission fees alone but this had dropped drastically.

He said the annual grant was not enough to cover staff salaries so the pay cut was inevitable. Mr Thompson said the board would be meeting some time next month and they would be looking into the plight of the employees.

Sela Vuinakasa Rayawa, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said they were all facing financial difficulties. In his case, Mr Rayawa, who is wheelchair bound said he was the sole breadwinner of the family and found it hard to pay the bills, rent and send his children to school.

Mr Rayawa, the registrar in the museum's collections department said from a gross salary of $724 a fortnight, he now gets $240.


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