Cyprus Mail

Hourly-paid hospital workers to stage work stoppage

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Famagusta hospital

Hourly-paid workers in state hospitals will hold a two-hour strike on March 10 to protest the state health service’s (Okypy) failure to properly address the situation created by the coronavirus pandemic in hospitals.

Trade unions Sek and Peo have released a joint statement promising more strikes “should Okypy avoid finding a solution to all issues.”

“Since Okypy’s takeover of the state hospitals, we have repeatedly shown our willingness to cooperate with them, particularly with a new environment created by the introduction of Gesy and with the tough scenario that unfolded due to the pandemic,” an announcement said.

“Unfortunately, after several discussions with them and after we gave them ample time to address all issues, the situation in hospitals is still critical.”

The two unions have also accused Okypy of violating the terms of employment of the hourly paid and of not properly applying the provident fund to newly hired staff.

“Okypy has been treating state hospital staff workers unfairly, at a time when their workload has increased. They are slammed with work and they cannot even take paid leave as hospitals are severely understaffed,” the unions said.

They also claimed there is no coordination between Okypy’s directorates and central administration, which leads to a situation of confusion among state hospital employees.

“We expected that the state hospitals’ autonomy from the health ministry would give us flexibility in our internal decisions and that we could solve all issues more quickly and more effectively.

“Unfortunately, we have seen more rigidity from Okypy than we have ever seen from the health ministry.

“State hospital workers are true heroes, who work tirelessly despite being overworked and underpaid,” the unions concluded.

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