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Friday deadline for paying CyBC staff (Update 2)

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File photo: CyBC offices

Unions on Wednesday said that state broadcaster (CyBC) employees should be paid by Friday, following announcements staff would strike for one hour twice a day as of March 29.

Following a meeting with Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou, unions were informed that the plan is to pay the employees by Friday.

Sek union general secretary Andreas Elias said that it is evident that wages will be paid on time.

“We want to be clear that we expect the final results,” he said.

Elias noted that the ministers “appear to be advancing processes to enable the salaries to be paid on Friday”.

“We clearly expect these assurances to take shape,” he said.

Peo union general secretary Nikos Gregoriou also echoed Elias statements, and said the union awaits to see the results on Friday.

Earlier, CyBC employees had announced that they would be carrying out strikes after facing delayed payment of their salaries.

The payment delay is ostensibly due to late submission of the national broadcaster’s budget to parliament, however, in actuality it has to do with the freezing of CyBC’s bank accounts in a case of workers’ compensation, a source from within the CyBC told the Cyprus Mail.

Last week the claimant’s lawyer, Michalis Vorkas, explained that the freezing was enacted by a degree issued by the Nicosia district court, after the state broadcaster failed to set out a timeframe for compensation pay out.

The CyBC’s accounts were set to be frozen until the claimant, Evdokia Loizou, receives the €1.3 million she is owed – €925,000 in damages, and the remainder in VAT, interest and legal fees – Vorkas told the Cyprus Mail.

The aim of freezing the accounts was to force state broadcaster to pay the amount owed immediately. Politis said that as a result of the freeze, more than 70 cheques issued by CyBC had been returned unpaid.

A source on Wednesday confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that a number of CyBC pensioners had not received their monthly instalment as a result of the impasse.

Employees’ patience ran out over the perceived mismanagement of the Loizou case added to delayed payment for all employees, the source said, detailing that the payment is usually due in the third week of the month.

The unions communicated their decision to strike to CyBC management after a letter from the director of personnel informed staff that the corporation’s accounts had been frozen and payroll would be affected.

The strikes were to be held every day from 1.30pm-2.30pm and 8pm-9pm starting on Friday until employees got paid.

Unions added that the CyBC management and administration are fully responsible for the situation.

In statements last week, the unions had called on the recently inaugurated board of directors to “address the issue of proper functioning of the organisation and to act quickly in order to ensure the timely payment of March salaries, as provided for under relevant regulations.”

They also charged that CyBC management had tried to absolve itself of responsibility by claiming the delayed payments were not due to internal failures but due to changes enacted by the interior and finance ministries in September and October 2023.

 

 

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