Discussions regarding low-wage civil servants’ pay continued on Wednesday, with unions and the government exchanging views.
The meetings were, as is custom, attended by representatives of three trade unions – Sek, Peo, and Pasydy – and the finance ministry, with President Nikos Christodoulides also kept acquainted with the matter.
Speaking about the ongoing discussions, Sek secretary-general Andreas Ilias said the conversations had been carried out via telephone, “with the aim of finding a solution”.
He added that there is only one issue currently unresolved, with the other disputes having been “agreed upon for weeks”.
The outstanding issue is the matter of recognition of the years of prior service of those on the A1, 2, and 5 paygrades, who the unions say should be entitled to pay rises.
“The final decision will be made by the president and the finance minister,” said Ilias.
With this in mind, he said, the three unions would meet to evaluate the state of affairs on Wednesday afternoon.
Peo general-secretary Nikos Grigoriou said his union is “in constant consultation” with the other two and was less optimistic about the prospects of the current talks.
He said all three unions are working together to “reach an agreement which covers all the provisions of the agreement reached on October 31”, the day low wage civil servants went on strike.
“If this is not accomplished, unrest will not be averted. The responsibility lies with the government itself, which seems to be backing away from what was agreed,” he said.
“Nothing has yet come from the government which satisfies us,” and added that it is “imperative that a solution be found immediately in the next few hours because there is a risk that this issue will develop into a crisis for the government.”
Should such a crisis occur, he said, “the government will bear absolute responsibility.”