Cyprus Mail

Bank union agrees to pay cuts

THE BANK employees’ union ETYK has decided to accept the labour ministry’s mediating proposal, ending the stalemate in talks with the banks’ association regarding a new collective agreement, following the expiry of the previous collective agreement on December 31, 2013.

The negotiations broke down completely in January when both sides refused to concede any further ground, with the banks’ association asking for substantial cuts on salaries and benefits, citing the need to reduce operating cost in light of the crippling blow suffered by the local banking system in the last year, and ETYK countering with a proposed extension of the retiring age to 65 and demanded that employers – the banks – contribute to the newly created solidarity fund.

Early in the year, the banks’ association decided to declare the negotiations deadlocked and referred the dispute to the labour ministry’s mediating services to resolve.

After several weeks of consultations, the ministry issued its proposal to both sides, calling for tiered pay and benefit cuts up to 14 per cent, the extension of employees’ retirement age from 60 to 65 years of age, and the freezing of salary increments and CoLA for three more years.

Following a meeting on Sunday, ETYK’s board has unanimously deemed the proposal satisfactory and decided to refer it to members’ regional assemblies on Wednesday for final approval.

The new collective agreement would be in force retroactively from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016.

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