Cyprus Mail

Bank employees union endorses wage cuts


BANK employees union ETYK on Thursday night endorsed a proposal for wage cuts for all workers except those from the Bank of Cyprus (BoC).

The proposal for salary reductions of up to 30 per cent and for the creation of a solidarity fund was upheld by 78 per cent of union members who took a vote at general meetings across the island.

The proposal includes monthly cuts of five per cent for employees on salaries up to €2,000; 10 per cent for €2,000 to €4.000 salary bracket; 15 per cent for the €4,000 to €6,000 bracket; twenty per cent was €6,000 to €8,000;  25 per cent on salaries from €8,000 to €10,000;  and 30 per cent salaries above €10,000.

BoC staff cuts had already been agreed previously.

Late last month the union called off a strike after BoC agreed to a new deadline for a proposed voluntary redundancy plan. The bank also agreed to make the package more attractive by offering two additional salaries to those opting to take it.

In the redundancy package, the bank offered a bonus of 5+2 monthly wages, settling of all staff loans and dues before cashing in their provident fund, and other benefits not exceeding €150,000, while the trade union is also chipping in from its coffers with €15m, that works out at an additional 10,000 per redundant staff.
However, it is not yet clear if a similar offer will remain on the table in the case of forced redundancies, if the package is not taken up by a satisfactory number of staff.

The bank hoped that hundreds would take up the voluntary redundancy offer as it would mean estimated savings of €80m.

This may prove pivotal for the survival of the bank whose numbers swelled to about 5,700 after it took on 2,400 from now-defunct Laiki.

But ETYK has said that few employees have taken up the offer with the sticking point being the issue of provident funds.

Also on Thursday, finance minister Harris Georgiades said that the provident funds of employees of the now-defunct Laiki and of the BoC are subject to all the decrees in force regarding the bail-in of depositors at the island’s largest lender.

The ‘haircut’ on deposits covers both personal savings as well as staff provident funds.

For the former Laiki employees, the amount due from their provident fund would be transferred immediately to their bank accounts, the minister said.

The minister said also he has asked the Central Bank to release into the bank accounts of BoC employees the amount due from their fund.


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