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Cyprus

Extra lifeguards and equipment ahead of summer season

File Photo

In response to warnings by lifeguards that they could go on strike over their working conditions, the interior ministry said on Wednesday that it had already authorised hiring additional personnel and procurement of equipment.

On Tuesday, lifeguards gave the authorities 15 days to respond to their complaints or face strikes ahead of the season which starts on April 1.

They claimed they were short-staffed and had to work 60-hour weeks, and that some of the equipment was inadequate and obsolete.

In a written statement on Wednesday, the interior ministry said a meeting had been held with all relevant parties and it had been decided to initially roll out a series of measures to alleviate the problems.

It was decided to extend the lifeguards’ timetable by two hours and grant them overtime pay. At the same time, local authorities could hire additional personnel whose pay would be covered by the state.

The cabinet had approved the recruitment of nine additional lifeguards, the ministry said.

This year’s budget includes employment of 141 lifeguards, “an increase compared with previous years”.

Also, the Limassol district officer was tasked, together with the chairman of the lifeguard federation, to procure equipment worth €131,000 that was needed immediately.

The cost was covered by the ministry.

The Limassol district office has invited bids for equipment including two jet skis, 70 waterproof radios, pressure meters, defibrillators and other items.

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