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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Vanuatu Provident Fund Asked To Reinstate GM
Workers union calls for Fund to disclose investigation report

By Glenda Shing

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 30, 2013) – National Secretary and Treasurer of Vanuatu National Workers Union (VNWU) Ephraim Kalsakau has called on the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) Board of Directors to reconsider their decision on the sacking of the General Manager of VNPF, Mrs. Anniva Tarilongi, and have her reinstated to her former position.

Kalsakau is concerned that the content of the VNPF Report that was made by the Auditor General has never been made to the public, however, the VNPF Board went ahead to make their decision to terminate GM Tarilongi along with her five other prominent staff.

"Reinstate the GM and the six staff, disclose the content of the audit report to the members of public and then the Board members could make a decision based on the recommendations in the report," the VNWU Secretary and Treasurer stated.

Kalsakau argued that the GM’s high salary was due to the new increased salary scale similarly other institutions including the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV), and the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission (VFSC).

Former GM Tarilongi’s recruitment was valid as it (her recruitment) went through a process that was agreed upon by the Board before she was accepted into VNPF as the General Manager, Kalsakau said.

According to Kalsakau, allegations of nepotism leveled against Tarilongi’s management were "unfounded" and claimed that VNWU is aware that it is the appointment of the members of the Board of Directors which was based on nepotism.

Mr. Kalsakau provided an example of current Board member, J Shwartze, whom Kalsakau claimed has not been living in Vanuatu for a long period of time and allegedly had a poor record in terms of employing staff on minimum wage and paying VNPF dues.

He said VNWU recognizes that Tarilongi is the only ni-Vanuatu woman who has the qualifications and experiences to take up that position as the VNPF GM, for the benefit of the local employees in the workforce.

Mrs. Tarilongi and five other staff were suspended since August last year over serious allegations that were raised against her. Last week the Board of Directors terminated them, although no reasons were provided for their termination.

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