Plans to halve pay at airport

Friday April 17, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
Rarotonga Airport. Rarotonga Airport.

The government’s airport workers face a massive pay cut.


The publicly-owned Airport Authority is struggling to pay wages to more than 120 staff following a reduction in revenue with the cancellation of flights.

Chief executive Joseph Ngamata confirmed they would reduce salaries if revenue doesn’t improve and they don’t receive government assistance in the next three to six months.

Employees  – including the chief executive, security and rescue fire staff, maintenance, technicians, carpark attendants, cleaners and admin staff – are facing up to a 50 per cent cut.

“There is no more revenue from flights, from the carpark, the car rental companies and from other companies and airlines who rent space from us on the airport,” Ngamata said.

“The only revenue we have left is the appropriation from government which is about $171,000 a month.”

Government announced a wage subsidy in its Covid-19 economic recovery plan but public sector agencies are not eligible for this assistance.

Ngamata said the Airport Authority board discussed different ways to deal with the crisis, before deciding on the possible pay cut. “These approaches are conditional on certain criteria being met and one of which is that if revenue does not improve or we don’t receive assistance in the next three to six months we will have to make significant changes to the employment of our people.”

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