By Mike Puia
THE Solomon Islands Public Employees Union (SIPEU) and the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) last week held a historic meeting.
The meeting was unusual and could be the SINPF’s response to a move by members of the fund to form a watchdog group for members.
Already an interim committee has been set up to drive the watch-dog initiative. The committee is on a six-month consultation.
While the interim committee is doing its consultations, the SINPF appeared to be having its own consultations as well.
SIPEU’s General Secretary Robert Au confirmed they met the SINPF board last Monday.
Au said the meeting was very good as it gives representatives of both party the opportunity to share their minds.
“We also talked about the issue of having SIPEU, being the body representing government workers, having a voice in the SINPF board,” Au confirmed.
He said they will make a nomination and whoever is nominated his or her name will be given to the Minister of Finance and Treasury, through the SINPF board, to make an appointment.
Au said SIPEU used to be a member of the SINPF board in the past.
He said it is exciting that the SIPEU is moving closer to getting back into the SINPF board after over 10 years.
Most members of the SINPF board are appointed by the Minister. One member represents employers. This member is nominated by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Au added they are happy with the initiative taken by the SINPF board to sit down and have a talk with the SIPEU.
He said they also discussed other matters like full cover insurance, housing for public employees.