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Limassol lifeguards not paid for overtime due to red tape

Lifeguards outside the Limassol district office

LIMASSOL lifeguards gathered outside the town’s district offices on Friday morning to protest against not being paid overtime and the delay in the payment of wages to part timers.

The lifeguards said that they haven’t been paid any overtime for the last two months, while nine of their colleagues who were hired on a temporary basis, have not received any payment since July when they assumed duties.

The deputy head of the Limassol lifeguards, Marios Petrides, told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that they have been treated unfairly as despite accepting to work ten-hour shifts in “heatwave conditions”, those in charge at the district administration did not start procedures in time to secure the necessary budget for their salaries.

The most serious problem, Petrides said, is that of the temporary lifeguards who “have not been paid a cent” since July when they were first employed.

“Some of them are students, they came from abroad to work to take some money back with then, while others have families, obligations,” he said.

It seems that when the interior ministry agreed in the summer for the extension of working hours for lifeguards, the district administration did not seek budget approval for the wages, either from the interior or the finance ministry.

“Those in charge ought to assume their responsibilities,” Petrides said.

Lifeguards gave a seven-day ultimatum to Limassol District Officer Kyriakos Tsolakis to satisfy their claims and warned with “dynamic measures” which, however, do not include a work stoppage.

“We will not leave the beaches… as we don’t see this as a job, but as a vocation and we are here for our fellow people,” he said. “We will move … legally, with proper procedures.”

District officer Tsolakis reassured lifeguards that the procedure in question is already underway and that the issue would be resolved “soon.”

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