Cyprus Mail

ETYK ready to talk co-op salaries

After threatening industrial action, the bank workers union ETYK said on Wednesday it was open to dialogue with the Central Co-operative Bank (CCB) over pay cuts.
“We want to find the best solution for both sides through dialogue conducted in honesty and good faith,” said ETYK board member Giorgos Georgiou.
Talks between the two sides over the scale of cuts to the payroll have broken down, and ETYK accused the CCB of blackmailing its members.
A repeat, the union said on Tuesday, would prompt dynamic measures.
“ETYK does not threaten,” Georgiou said on Wednesday. He added however, that if the CCB kept up the same behaviour, ETYK would react with all the means at its disposal.
The CCB wants to slash its payroll by 15 per cent to comply with its restructuring obligations as per the terms of its €1.5bn state bailout.
ETYK has submitted a counter proposal, which is close to the rate the CCB wanted but Georgiou suggested that was not the problem.
“If that was our main difference we would have already agreed,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.
Georgiou said other circles that he did not name, were preventing the two sides from reaching a compromise.
Nicolas Hadjiyiannis, the chairman of the CCB’s trusteeship committee, declined to comment on ETYK’s response.
Hadjiyiannis said they have struck a deal with 90 per cent of the employees, which will be honoured.
He said the CCB was concentrating on the implementation of the restructuring plan.
“We are focused on the substance, which is the stabilisation and recovery of the co-op sector,” Hadjiyiannis said.
Following a deal clinched recently, workers at cooperative credit institutions took a 3.0 per cent cut on salaries across the board.
Their unions also agreed to additional tiered salary cuts ranging from 8.0 per cent to 25 per cent.
But neither agreement applies to employees of the CCB who are all members of ETYK, with which the CCB board had been holding separate talks.
Some 300 CCB employees are members of ETYK, as opposed to the some 2,700 staff in the broader cooperative sector who belong to other unions, mainly PEO and SEK.
After negotiations between the CCB and ETYK broke down last week, the former threatened to begin layoffs unilaterally.
The CCB brass said it would ask each of the 300 employees to respond whether they individually accepted either the proposed pay cuts or a redundancy scheme sidelining ETYK.

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