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Coronavirus: Civil service union dismisses employers’ call for pay cuts

PASYDY boss Glafcos Hadjipetrou

The main government workers’ union, Pasydy, on Friday dismissed as unacceptable, calls by employers for pay cuts in the public sector as part of measures to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

The union said at the time its members were trying to “fight the pandemic,” the employers and industrialists federation (Oev) was voicing divisive statements.

“Certainly, the positions of the employers’ federation neither shock us nor seem extraordinary, as it is not the first time that OEV stands against wider public sector staff in times of crisis,” the union said.

Pasydy called on its members, “especially the healthcare workers,” not to listen to Oev, and continue to battle the spread of coronavirus, “so we can come out as winners from this crisis.”

On Thursday, Oev called for cuts to the public payroll, as a measure to fight the economic issues caused by the virus.

In a letter to the president, Oev chairman Giorgos Petrou emphasised the importance of utilising all available resources immediately to prevent paralysis of the real economy.

“Any hesitation in immediately allocating all necessary resources and adopting the required adjustments can lead the real economy to paralysis and the productive web to decay while rendering the fiscal stimulus ineffective and the blow to the national economy irreversible,” Petrou said.

The Oev chairman suggested that part of the cost of funding the measures should come from a horizontal contribution by all public sector workers who earn over €1,500.

“Potentially burdening the private sector exclusively with the cost of this crisis would lead to acute social conflict with incalculable consequences on social cohesion,” he said.

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