Cyprus Mail

Teachers first to object to wage hike reform

By George Psyllides
STATE primary school teachers criticised Finance minister Harris Georgiades on Friday over the government’s intention to overhaul the way pay rises were calculated in the public sector.
True to form, their union, POED, described the comments as “unacceptable, inopportune and provocative,” suggesting that public sector workers were shouldering a significant and disproportionate burden of the economic downturn.
“Possibly attempting to mislead the public opinion, but also sustaining the fake yet deliberate ‘clash’ between workers in the private and public sectors, serves ulterior plans and interest, in our view,” POED said.
The union suggested that it would have been more useful if the minister announced measures to stamp out tax evasion and the real causes that led the country into the mire.
On Thursday, Georgiades said the government had no intention of returning to the previous system of automatic wage hikes, incremental increases and Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) adjustments.
He said the government was working on a way in which wages and their increases will be assigned in a manner that adhered much more to the real performance of the economy.
Georgiades warned that going back to the old system would land Cyprus in the rut again in no time.
Main opposition party AKEL claimed that Georgiades’ comments were heralding further cuts in wages after the end of the adjustment programme.
“Through such actions, the government reconfirmed the unprecedented authoritarianism that distinguishes them in taking and unilaterally imposing serious decisions without any dialogue at all,” party spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said.

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