By Constantinos Psillides
Mighty public sector workers union PASYDY will be challenged from within for the first time in its history as a number of members plan to establish their own union.
The new union could number up to 1,000 members, according to representative Costas Ioannou who gave an interview to CyBC radio.
Ioannou said that the need for an alternative to PASYDY was needed since many public workers don’t agree with the union’s stance on a number of issues. “It’s not because they accepted the pay cuts requested by the government. It’s the fact that PASYDY doesn’t protect our reputation or our work. The leadership of PASYDY is the main reason public sector workers have gotten such a bad reputation in recent years,” said Ioannou. He said more and more people were requesting to leave PASYDY every day.
Ioannou said that the decision to form a new union came about after he and a colleague set up a site for public workers to express their views about PASYDY.
“Immediately on hearing about it, PASYDY decided to strike us both from their records permanently. They kicked us out,” said Ioannou.
The new union-to-be is also dissatisfied with PASYDY boss Glafcos Hadjipetrou, who, Ioannou said, has been in his post for the last 18 years and runs PASYDY on a tight leash.
“They don’t allow for change. They don’t allow for democratic procedures. They keep hurting our image as public sector employees and there are a lot of people disgruntled by the way they run things,” Ioannou said.
He told CyBC that they had addressed a number of questions to the leadership of PASYDY. “We asked them, among other things, why was it that Hadjipetrou keeps being paid the same salary by PASYDY despite the pay cuts imposed by the government? How can they claim they understand what we are going through when they themselves are not subjected to the same pay cuts? The answer we received was that PASYDY cannot impose a pay cut that it protested and had actually taken the government to court for.”
Ioannou said the new union would be officially launched on Wednesday in a meeting at the Cyprus Productivity Centre.
“We believe that the time is right. There is a lot of resentment towards PASYDY in the ranks and we think it’s time for an alternative,” he said.
Daily Phileleftheros reported that the new union’s leadership would have a three-year term and a two-term limit. Any leadership official who gets a promotion will automatically resign his post in the union, while union officials will not receive any payment.