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Rental issues for civil servants a growing concern

September 10, 2018 6:59 pm

Fiji Meteorological Services employees in Nadi are requesting the government to increase their housing allocation of quarters and cut down the rental charges.

Director Meteorology Services Ravindra Kumar says employee’s allocated Fiji Airports Limited quarters in Nadi are charged commercial rent and many cannot afford to pay it.

Kumar says most of their officers have opted to come from home because they cannot afford to pay for the rent with some living as far as Tavua.

He told the Prime Minister in a Talanoa session last week that some technical staff earn between fifteen thousand to eighteen thousand dollars and are asked to pay six hundred dollars a month.

“This is totally unfair on their part especially when they are trying to serve the nation and rise to the occasion especially when natural disasters do affect, then they are travelling from long distances and that constraints on the operations on Fiji Met Services.”

Kumar requested they be given more quarters for their officers and for the rental charge to be decreased.

In response, Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu clarified that not everyone working in the essential services sector is entitled to a house which is restricted to only key appointments.

“There are a few officers that are identified as special appoints, those are the ones that are entitled to a house. For all those who are not entitled to a house, you join the queue. That has never changed from post-independence until today and the allocation of housing will be given by the Housing Committee.”

Seruiratu adds the allocation of housing is done by the Housing Committee, which comprises of the four respective Divisional Commissioners.

He also clarified that there are only government quarters now and no institutional quarters.