Court orders WAF to provide union with list

Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) general secretary Felix Anthony at the Fiji Trades Union Congress office in Suva. Picture: FT FILE/RAMA

THE arbitration court has ordered the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) to provide a list to the National Union of Workers of all its members who are permanent employees and those who are project workers or temporary employees.

This matter was heard before the puisne judge Yohan Liyanage at the arbitration court in Suva yesterday.

WAF lawyer Devanesh Sharma assured the court and National Union of Workers (NUW) general secretary Felix Anthony that they would provide them a disclosure of whatever positions that have been occupied by the union members by next Tuesday.

Mr Sharma said on the other outstanding issues, the authority would need a month to appraise with the authority’s board on whether the conditions would be reasonable and the circumstances and whether they should agree.

He also said the tribunal court could only deal with personal grievances, which was dismissal, but the issue of interpretation of the collective agreement should be with the arbitration court because under the Amendment Act for essential service, it was the arbitration court which had the jurisdiction.

Mr Sharma said clarity was needed on this because the union and the employer had their own views on this, but if there was a divergence of views then it needed to be sorted.

He said a partisan agreement was needed on both sides.

During the hearing, Mr Anthony said the union was looking at the termination of employees here and that it was a dispute of right and they were claiming a breach of collective agreement.

Mr Anthony said the union wanted the tribunal to determine whether there was a breach or not.

Both parties have also been given time to sort out 14 pending issues.

Among the pending issues are: redundancies; overtime; sporting leave; and, other ordinary terms and conditions.

The case has been adjourned to June 5.

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