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Cabinet signs off on pay deal for low paid civil servants

citizen service centre
File photo

The cabinet on Monday green-lit amendments to the 2024 state budget bill to include the agreement struck recently concerning salary advancements for public sector workers on the lower pay brackets.

Cabinet’s approval essentially locks in the deal hammered out on December 12 between the finance minister and the Pasydy and OIO-SEK trade unions.

That deal concerned improvements to the remuneration system for public sector employees who are on the combined A2, A5 and A7 pay bracket. It applies to persons employed in the central government, semi-governmental organisations and municipalities.

The agreement concerns some 9,000 employees who for years had been ‘stuck’ on wages of €1000 to €1,100. For the most part, they work at Citizens Service Centres or as secretarial and support staff at various departments.

Under the arrangement, now codified as law in the state budget bill, these persons will be able to climb faster through the A2 to A7 combined bracket.

As explained earlier by Stratis Mattheou, head of Pasydy – the blanket civil servants union – under the system in place to date a person had to wait about 13 years to get bumped up from, say, the A2 to the A5 bracket.

This was because they needed to go through all the statutory pay increments within their bracket before being upgraded. Each pay increment in the A2 bracket amounted to €7.5 a year.

Meanwhile because of the freeze on pay increments in the public sector that had lasted for five years, for many employees the usual 13-year wait for such an upgrade had dragged out to18 years.

What the changes mean now is that once the January 2024 salaries are paid, a person on the A2 bracket and who has served for 18 years continuously, will automatically get upgraded to A7.

In practice, this involves a monthly salary bump of €80 to €100.

The finance ministry has said the deal – which entails a higher payroll – will not derail public finances.

In another decision on Monday, the cabinet approved a minimum support scheme for the print media. The decision entails a minimum state grant to newspapers and publications. Also included are press distribution agencies.

The assistance is intended to ensure the viability of the print media, given the decline in traffic in recent years.

 

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