Public servants working on an hourly basis will strike if the collective agreement on their salaries is not renewed at the end of April, labour unions Peo and Sek warned on Tuesday.

This is due to “provocative delays and indifference on the part of the finance ministry in completing the dialogue for the renewal of the collective agreement on hourly labour,” the unions said.

They also complained that the institution of the joint labour committee has been left idle by the ministry of finance for the past three years, resulting in important labour issues remaining stagnant.

Hourly-paid government workers have not received any salary increases since 2010, instead suffering pay cuts and contributing financially beyond what they can bear to save the Cypriot economy during the financial crisis, the unions said.

“It should be noted that while the Cypriot economy is experiencing high growth rates, hourly-paid government workers continue to be subject to salary reductions over the last decade,” with wages for new entrants cut by 10 per cent, shift allowances cut by 15 per cent, and reductions in benefits, they added.

“In addition, a unilateral decision by the government has been implemented to reduce the way the provident fund is calculated to an extent that dramatically reduces the specific benefit for hourly-paid government workers, who are the lowest paid staff in the public sector,” the unions added.

Sek and Peo concluded that after studying the numbers, they will be left with no choice but to strike if there is no positive outcome in the renewal of the collective agreement before the end the month.