Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Health

Doctors threaten measures on overtime pay

By Poly Pantelides 

THE health ministry asked the state doctors’ union PASYKI on Tuesday to reconsider threats of measures against planned reductions in overtime allowances and to continue discussions on a system overhaul.

The government has agreed with the troika of lenders to overhaul the health sector’s overtime payments, to modernise a system which has been subject to much abuse over the years. The auditor-general has previously said the state overpays doctors in overtime for working weekends or, in some cases, for working past civil service hours or else paying doctors their annual wage, again in overtime.

PASYKI said on Monday its board had been given the go-ahead for “dynamic measures” and would be deciding the nature of such measures – which could include a strike – during a general meeting this coming Monday.

The health ministry said everyone across the state sector needed to regulate overtime, and added PASYKI had already agreed that no overtime would be paid between 3pm and 4.30pm and also agreed to discuss reviewing the current system.

But the state doctors said their agreement to work between 3pm and 4.30pm without overtime pay was a sign of “good will” on the understanding this would be a temporary six-month measure.

PASYKI said government doctors had never accepted any cuts in overtime pay and took issue with a compromise offer by health minister Petros Petrides to compensate them for working between 5pm and 7pm. “…meaning a further cut in overtime payment”.

The union accused the health ministry of ignoring their views during negotiations with the troika and suggested they could have struck a better deal for state doctors “even at the last moment” by arguing the measures could not be implemented and offering “substantiated proposals and alternative solutions cost-saving solutions”.

In the memorandum of understanding that acts as the road map to the implementation of an international bailout for Cyprus, health authorities are expected to continue reducing overtime to cover as a minimum “services hours from 7am to 7pm under regular working time”. By early next year, the health ministry should have revised regular and stand-by shift payments, revised it overtime pay regulations and fully implemented the law on recording and monitoring overtime payment

Related Posts

Coronavirus: Three deaths, 576 new infections announced on Wednesday (updated)

George Psyllides

Akel says it will reject government’s 2022 state budget

George Psyllides

Pfizer says vaccine neutralises Omicron with three shots (updated)

Reuters News Service

Hate crimes working group holds first meeting

Evie Andreou

Cyprus loses Grilloumi Burger battle 2-1

George Psyllides

Leaders to meet new UN envoy on Friday

Evie Andreou