NEWS

‘Grievances For Arbitration Increases By 69%’

The number of grievance cases received by the Fiji Mediation Services has increased by 69 per cent with 1220 employment cases reported this year compared to 839 in 2016. Minister
28 Nov 2017 12:29
‘Grievances For Arbitration Increases By 69%’
Ministry for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations staff and Minister Jone Usamate with George Lim (left) and See Chem Yang (right) of the Singapore Mediation Centre with the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry Salaseini Dunabuna at the opening of a four-day training in mediation in Suva. Photo: Losirene Lacanivalu

The number of grievance cases received by the Fiji Mediation Services has increased by 69 per cent with 1220 employment cases reported this year compared to 839 in 2016.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate revealed this yesterday at the opening of Mediation Training & Accreditation Assessment conducted by Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) in Suva.

Mr Usamate said these were the statistics from January to October this year and this has increased dramatically.

“Since November 2016, the mediation team has achieved a high resolution rate of 84.97 per cent for the first quarter of 2017-2018 fiscal year,” Mr Usamate said.

He said this showed an impressive performance and outstanding performance by the mediation team.

“This is testament to the high level training provided by our training providers and the commitment of our new mediators,” he said.

“They are maintaining the high standards and surpassing the resolution targets set, this is in spite of the increasing number of employment grievances received to date.”

Mr Usamate said it was important to continue creating an enabling social justice environment based on good faith relations; good faith under the law which required parties in an employment relationship to be proactive and constructive and maintain productive relationships.

He said the mediation programme was not only gaining popularity globally but also locally as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to resolve conflicts, grievances and disputes.

“For Fiji mediation benefits are enormous as workers are empowered to engage in mediation as an individual and mitigate his or her grievance in a professional setting with the employer and mediator as a facilitator,” he said.

He said the government mediation service in Fiji was free as part of government’s social obligation to the workers and employers of our country.

“Informal mediation by our mediators has also been a very powerful tool in diffusing contemplated strikes in Fiji,” he said.

Mr Usamate said that for the training programme, the ministry would examine the possibility of including organisations from private sectors, government commercial companies and statutory authorities to be part of the training.

He said that the Fijian Government aimed to expand on the capacity base of mediators given the success of the concept in Fiji’s employment environment.

Around 24 people from the government ministries are attending the training which begun yesterday; the first three days are for mediation training and the final day will be for accreditation assessment.

The training is conducted by the Singapore Mediation Centre trainers; George Lim and See Chem Yang.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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