Hellenic Bank announced on Wednesday that it will raise the wages of former Co-op bank employees who work for them, following a 2014 cut, which had carried over when the co-op bank shut its doors, and many former co-ops were taken on by Hellenic.

In 2018, Hellenic Bank officially took control of the operations of the state-owned Cyprus Co-operative Bank (CCB).

Following a takeover agreement with the state, Hellenic is now running the co-operative’s network of branches.

Since then, employees that worked for co-op branches were receiving the same reduced salary they had been in 2014, a year after the financial crisis.

The decision on Wednesday was taken following its confirmation from the labour relations department of the labour ministry.

Hellenic said that the adjusted salaries will be paid to the affected staff with today’s salary for the month of October 2022 and any retroactive amounts arising from 01/01/2019 to 09/30/2022 are expected to be paid by the end of the year 2022.

The bank employees’ union, Etyk said that this was a major win for their union, who had alerted the labour ministry to the matter.

According to the union, the labour ministry decided back in March that the former co-op employee salaries should be raised, but that Hellenic Bank had delayed making the decision, despite repeated requests by the union to raise the salaries.

“As is well known, the bank’s management for some time ignored the decision of the labour ministry, threatened layoffs, and took extreme positions on the issue of renewing the collective agreement,” the union said.

Due to the bank’s stance, the union added that it started legal proceedings for members against board members of Hellenic Bank.

The union said that today’s decision by the bank is owed to them, and that “some are trying to take credit for it, without convincing anyone.”