Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Anastasiades warns public service union ‘no going back’ on reform

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By George Psyllides

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades warned government workers union PASYDY on Saturday that it was deluding itself by believing it would avoid modernisation of the public sector by resorting to legal obstacles.

Anastasiades said the government was determined to see modernisation of the public sector through, with or without the union.

“If PASYDY chooses legalistic theories, believing that modernisation of the public service will be avoided, they have another think coming,” Anastasiades said, using the strongest language yet against PASYDY’s obstinate leadership.

On Tuesday, PASYDY filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the appointment of the public service reform commissioner, which they consider illegal.

The union claims the appointment was unconstitutional and has no legal basis.

In its appeal, PASYDY said no such position is provided for by any legislation or the budget, while Emanuella Lambrianides is also a civil servant.

Anastasiades said Lambrianides’ role was to coordinate and submit ideas.

The administration is currently working with the World Bank and UK-based experts.

The president said what mattered most was the substance of the coordinator’s proposals and not their title.

“And I want to convey a stern message to the PASYDY leadership: either they cooperate and talk or simply let their members accept any reforms, which of course would be the result of the ongoing studies,” Anastasiades said.

Consequently, Anastasiades said, if PASYDY wanted to contribute to modernisation, it should do so and set the legalistic theories aside.

“I will be very strict with those who think they can block what the entire Cypriot people want,” Anastasiades said.

In its appeal to the Supreme Court, PASYDY said it was obvious that the commissioner’s duties and responsibilities were tasks carried out for decades by the public administration and personnel department, currently headed by Kypros Kyprianou, Lambrianidies’ senior.

The union also suggested that the commissioner’s actions, apart from neutralising all customary consultation and negotiation procedures, negatively affected the workers’ established rights.

The appeal was filed around a month after Anastasiades warned that his administration would not tolerate any delays to plans to reform the civil service.

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