Government moves to protect integrity of the seasonal employment scheme
The Chief Executive of the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo and MCIL’s Chief Executive Pulotu Lyndon Chu Lin at the signing ceremony for Upolu village representatives.
Source: M.P.M.C. Press Secretary
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 27 JUNE 2017: Samoans may soon work as seasonal workers in New Zealand’s tourism and fisheries industries.
Tentatively a pilot project to this effect will start before the end of the year. This was announced by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo at the signing this week of a Memorandum of Understanding with villages who supply the seasonal workers.
The binding agreement is geared to safeguard the integrity of seasonal employment partnerships with New Zealand and Australia.
And Government is duty bound to protect the integrity of the seasonal employment incentives taking into account the thousands of families which have reaped the fruits of hard labor from the temporary employment schemes especially the New Zealand Recognized Seasonal Workers (RSE) where 1,600 Samoa are receiving employment this year.
The MOU with villages is to strengthen the local administration of the temporary employment process with villages playing a leading role when it comes to disciplinary enforcement as well as monitoring the behavior of their respective villagers who are employed under the scheme in New Zealand and Australia.
To that end, the first MOU signing took place this week between government and village representatives or Sui o Nu’u and Sui Tamaitai o Nu’u for Upolu.
“Villages play a prominent role in terms of disciplining our RSE workers. And for villages to be effective, they must have a sense of ownership and responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem” explained the MPMC’s Chief Executive.
“With more employment opportunities expected from our New Zealand and Australia partners not only for Samoa but other Pacific Island countries, the MOU is a testament to our employers that our government is more than committed to repay their generosity to provide much needed jobs for our people.
“The seasonal employment has more than improved the quality of life for hundreds low income families, it has also contributed to our Gross Domestic Product not to mention our Foreign Reserves.”
For villages which have not signed the MOU, Agafili says that they can report to the Seasonal Employment Unit, (SEU) with MPMC on the fourth floor of the Government Building before 1st July.
After July 1st, the SEU will move under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour.
“The MOU is crucial and very important because it relays a strong message to Samoa that government is leading the way in securing more employment and new jobs for the people,” explains MCIL’s Chief Executive Pulotu Lyndon Chu Lin;
“The MOU signifies the importance of this stepping stone and we are asking our community leaders to make an effort and support this initiative.
“It’s not just for government but for low income families needing work to support their families.”
Villages that have yet to sign the agreement will not be exempted from stand down policies initiated by government if one of their village member is disciplined and deported home for violating conditions of his or her employment.