USP staff seek work permit solutions

November 28, 2023 6:07 am

The University of the South Pacific staff has urged the government to address work permit issues for its employees.

According to the staff union, the process is intricate, having undergone reviews by both the Fiji Education Ministry and the Immigration Department.

Elizabeth Read Fong, President of the Association of USP Staff, emphasizes that the Ministry of Education is already handling numerous responsibilities, primarily focused on primary and secondary schools.

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President of the Association of USP Staff Elizabeth Read Fong

She questions whether the Permanent Secretary should be burdened with work permits for USP staff, given their existing workload.

“I think it’s an immigration matter, it should go from USP like a normal immigration application to the Director who then vets it according to the policy and procedures and regulations and make some suitable recommendation.”

Fong acknowledges the occasional challenge of paying fees for work permits when they are not promptly issued.

These concerns have been brought to the attention of Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad, and the Deputy Prime Minister has also acknowledged receiving the related documents.