Government will spend a total of 49 million dollars in Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA increases on the basic salaries of all public servants.

Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua told local media in a press conference that their negotiation concluded successfully and they signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a Cost of Living Salary Adjustment COLSA.

Mr Sikua said that Government has approached the negotiations both with SINTA and SIPEU on the basis of the principles of affordability and fairness.

"Government as the employer must be fair to all its employees and what we award to a particular Union must be given to the rest of the public sector unions or public servants," said Mr Sikua.

He said that after the negotiation with SINTA instead of 18.1%, they both agreed to 4.5% increase, basic salary to be back dated to 1st January 2009 and also 5.0% increase in basic salary which should be effective on 1st January 2010.

Five percent will be paid on the basic salaries of all public officers as of January one 2010.

SINTA had asked for an 18-percent COLA.

Prime Minister Sikua says all public sector unions, including SIPEU will be paid the 4-point-5 and 5 percent awards respectively.

"I ask all public servants to therefor accept the offer that the government has given - a generous offer indeed, given our current financial difficulties which has resulted in falling revenues and halting of various development projects in the 2009 budget."

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