Cyprus -Difficult conditions for union negotiators -September 1, 2011

In June, unions entered the social dialogue with government concerning austerity measures government and political parties wanted to apply. Though the union movement was left alone, negotiations went rather well. That ended on 11 July, when a huge ammunition explosion blew up the country’s power station, besides taking 13 lives causing billions of Euros of damage to the economy. In this situation and despite union efforts, parliament decided to a number of salary cuts for public sector employees.  They have to contribute 3% of their salaries towards future pension benefits, with immediate effect. New hires have to pay into the social insurance fund, as opposed to the present system with contributions paid by the state. As a temporary measure for two years, white collar public servants will pay progressive contributions between 1.5% and 3.5% for incomes above € 1,500 per month. For blue collar workers, the SEK union confederation succeeded to limit the contribution to only 0.5%. A second package of austerity measures will be decided on 15 September. In between, the unions will put their efforts to avoid more cuts.

English: message of Tasos Kakoullis, organising secretary SEK Cyprus Workers Confederation

 

This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) M.vanKlaveren@uva.nl. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net. © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.


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