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Cyta management reaches deal with unions (Updated)

Cyta, unions, strike, protest, demonstration
File photo: Cyta unions during a previous two-hour work stoppage

The directors of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) have reached an agreement with the workers’ unions regarding some proposed changes that would impact the permanent status of employees and employee pay scales.

The agreement came after an “extraordinary and decisive” meeting held on Wednesday, as confirmed by trade union leader Elias Demetriou, who called the last round of talks “the last chance for the [Cyta] board to accept or reject the proposals put forward by the unions.”

More specifically, the unions and the board agreed that 60 per cent of Cyta employees will be contracted as public servants, with the remaining 40 per cent classified as private workers.

On top of that, the existing full-time staff of Cyta will retain their working rights and their remuneration will be linked to an incentive scheme. Hirings will be made in consultation with the unions.

Moreover, increases of 5.75 per cent for low-wage personnel, an additional 0.5 per cent for the health fund, and 0.5 per cent for the welfare fund were agreed upon, retroactively from January 1, 2023

“The agreement is beneficial for the organisation and, by extension, for the employees,” Demetriou said after the meeting.

He also referred to an “innovative and pioneering provision” applied for the first time in a public authority organisation, namely bonuses linked to the productivity of the employee.

“It is not given that someone will receive 100 per cent of the bonus corresponding to their salary. Depending on their productivity, they will receive either 75, 100, or even 125 per cent in cases of excellence,” he explained, indicating that this innovation sends the right message that Cyta is taking a different path to become “a competitive company in the field of telecommunications that will be perfectly positioned towards maintaining profitability.”

Consultations between Cyta and the unions have lasted 11 months.

Tensions between Cyta and the unions have been high in the past months, to the point when workers at the organisation staged a two-hour work stoppage today across Cyprus on January 3.

A statement released by workers at the time said that the goal of the proposed strike was “to send a strong and clear message that the workers are united in demanding respect, while standing firm against any effort that may undermine the public character of the organisation.”

More details regarding the agreement reached on Wednesday will be published by the unions on Thursday, according to Demetriou.

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