Association of the USP Staff President Elizabeth Read Fong (left), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad
The Fiji government has taken a stance on matters regarding the outcry by staff of the University of the South Pacific.
The staff gathered in numbers this morning to protest peacefully outside the venue of the 96th USP Council meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad, signalled that the government would not interfere with the processes.
However, he confirmed receiving documents from the Association of the University of the South Pacific Staff highlighting the concerns and demands of the staff.
Prasad, who is attending the meeting, says the coalition government strongly supports the institution.
He emphasizes that the government believes in academic freedom and the autonomy and independence of USP’s governance.
Additionally, he adds that, despite the demands of the staff, the Fiji government values the freedom of workers in the country.
“Whatever the university staff grievances they have, we urged them to work with the management and indeed with the council to resolve this, and I’m sure the issue will be resolved.”
Prasad also confirms no discussion has been brought up about including the staff papers on the agenda of the two-day meeting.