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Cyprus

Strike to close some citizens service centres

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The finance ministry announced on Tuesday that due to strike by a group of civil servants some citizens service centres will not operate between Wednesday and Friday between 10am and noon.

This concerns all citizens service centres except those in the Famagusta district and Polis Chrysochous, which will operate non-stop between 8am and 5pm.

Those in Engomi and Makarios Avenue in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Kolossi and Pelendri will operate between 8am and 10am and between noon and 5pm from Wednesday to Friday.

The citizens service centre in Kato Pyrgos will remain closed on Thursday.

The striking employees are members of trade union Isotita (Equality) who protest against the refusal of the government to abide by the EU Directive on fixed-term employment that stipu-lates that when workers are on fixed-term contracts, action is needed to ensure that they do not suffer unjustified discrimination. According to the directive, abuse of successive fixed-term contracts between the same employer and employee for the same work has to be pre-vented.

In the case the government does not respond to their demands, the union said they would escalate measures.

The union cites unfair, discriminatory, even humiliating treatment of its members who work on term and open-ended contracts compared to their colleagues who are permanent civil service employees and who perform the same duties as them.

It also said that some of its members are given irregular term contracts while after they expire, they have to retake exams or are required to succeed in the same hiring procedure so that they can carry on exercising their duties, which some have been doing for more than 20 years.

Isotita also said the government disregards them when carrying out consultations with other trade unions on issues that concern a large number of its members even when, in some cases, their affected members outnumber those of the other unions.

Other unions, Isotita said, enjoy handsome financial aid from the government of scandalous proportions that reach up to €1m in some cases, and are treated far better compared to it.

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