Former Fiji Rugby Union Staff Seeks $277K Payment

Former Fiji national sevens team strength and conditioning coach Etu Tusitala claims that the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) owes him $277,000 in unpaid wages since last year.

Tusitala informed The Fiji Times that FRU still owes him approximately $182,000 for the two years he worked under his contract, during which FRU only made three payments to him.

He states that an additional $95,000 is owed for the remaining year of his contract before he was asked to leave.

Tusitala signed his contract in March 2022 under the leadership of former FRU CEO John O’Connor, and he was issued a three-year work permit by the Fiji Immigration Department, valid until March 2025.

Speaking to the newspaper, Tusitala confirmed that he had been following up with the FRU board and FRU Board of Trustees acting chairman Peter Mazey for almost a year but had not received a positive outcome.

“I have followed up with the previous administration and the current administration. No one is giving me a positive answer. Everyone is denying paying my salary,” Tusitala said.

“They still haven’t paid me for two years according to my contract for the job that I did, which is around $182,000, and $95,000 from the one year which was left in my contract before I was told to leave. I only received three payments.”

The Samoan native hopes his salary will be settled by FRU.

“I want them to pay me, it’s black and white; they must pay what they owe me. I do not want to fight, but it’s a matter of doing the right thing. As an islander, I would rather do it in the traditional way to sit and talk, but it’s getting me nowhere—now I’m struggling financially. They haven’t honoured my service. I enjoyed the passion for being here working with a powerful rugby team in the world. I was blessed and honoured to be part of the winning 2022 World Cup team; we did it with nothing, no resources, so all I’m asking for is what is right.”

A copy of the contract between Tusitala and FRU, along with his work permit, had been provided to the newspaper by the former SnC coach.

The Fiji Times has been unable to obtain comments from FRU since its first attempt on Tuesday.

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