A proposal put forth by the State Health Services (Okypy) on collective agreements is set to be rejected once again by unions, it emerged on Thursday.

The disagreements between Okypy and public health sector workers have protracted for months, as the latter maintain their stance that Okypy must implement structured salary scales with defined pay-grades and annual increases, without implying a transformation of employees into civil servants.

The state doctor’s union Pasyki and the nurses’ union Pasyno already sent separate letters to Okypy, rejecting nearly all the provisions included in the organisation’s proposal.

“Okypy has sent us a framework for a collective agreement, presenting its position, and asked for our input,” Pasyno spokesperson Theodoros Petelis told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Thursday.

“What we have observed and informed Okypy in our letter is that issues that were previously resolved are being brought back to the discussion concerning the collective agreement.

“We feel like we’re going in circles rather than progressing on specific sections. An example is the issue of salary increase for nurses.

“Although it had been discussed and we received reassurances from the Okypy general directorate that there would be an annual increase, the new framework provided seems to reintroduce salary increases every three years, rather than three,” Petelis said.

Petelis further explained that some provisions in the latest proposed collective agreement, outlining staff evaluation and competitiveness, appear to be tied to a future one starting from 2025 onwards.

“We had agreed with Okypy on staff evaluation, but we specifically opposed to all proposals regarding competitiveness,” he said.

“We have ultimately requested Okypy to intensify the dialogue through more frequent meetings so that progress can be made within a short timeframe towards the first collective agreement signing.”

According to reports, the remaining four unions also appear to be ready to send letters to Okypy, listing their disagreements.

A fundamental disagreement is the amount of salary increase proposed by Okypy.

In the latest proposal, only the percentage of fixed increases granted annually, specifically 1 per cent, is mentioned, but the percentage of fluctuating increases given to employees under the Okypy’s contracts is not specified.

There are several things that do not satisfy us,” labour union Sek-Peo general director Nikos Grigoriou said.

“Many of the provisions included in the latest proposal are different from the ones previously agreed upon, the same that were discussed directly with Okypy under the supervision of the health ministry,” he said.

“That is why we will prepare a letter to inform the organisation that there we require further dialogue. We’re not saying that finding an acceptable solution is now impossible, but we expected something closer to what we discussed,” he added.Top of Form