Cyprus Mail

Hourly paid game wardens going on strike on hunting day

hunting 01
File photo

Hourly paid game wardens who work for the Game and Wildlife fund said they would go on a 24-hour strike on Sunday over safety issues in relation to the combatting of poaching.

Amid hunting season, which recently got underway, the gamekeepers, with the backing of the Isotitia (Equality) Union, laid out their grievances in a letter to the president, party leaders, the House speaker and the labour and interior committees at the parliament.

They say that their employers, the state, “refuses to provide the necessary means of safety to the workers, whose main task is to combat poaching”.

Therefore, they will strike on Sunday and call on MPs to support them.

“On the employer’s side irrational procedures are implemented that endanger the individual safety of employees, such as multiple and simultaneous tasks, outdated weapons and vehicles, and deficient uniforms and footwear,” the game wardens said in a statement.

“Management of the game service has for decades been applying working hours that lack logic and result in chronic physical strain for the workers,” it added.

Hourly paid workers say they are also discriminated against in terms of equal pay by comparison with their counterparts who are employed full time and who perform exactly the same duties.

They said the starting salaries of hourly paid workers are €804.90 and €852.31, depending on entry level status, without allowances, which could bring their salaries up to €1276.84 and €1411.96 respectively.

Full-timers, by contrast start at €1,242.58 with expenses. The highest scale on that rung is €3,276.58, which hourly paid employees cannot work towards.

In the letter they say the management of the game service refuses to consult with the union branch representing the hourly paid.

“The head of the Game Fund has stated that he is disturbed by the public statements of the president of the [union] branch and that is why he refuses to enter a dialogue,” the statement said.

“Also, the president of the branch is prevented from exercising his trade union duties, despite the fact that he represents the largest number of members,” it added.

The hourly gamekeepers call on the recipients of the letter to condemn any illegal actions against the workers and also ask to be allowed present their views before the plenum.


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