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Finance minister says no to wage increases

Amid an ongoing exchange of letters, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades has riled unions by remaining adamant that no wage hike can be discussed nor a lessening of cuts be implemented.

According to the Phileleftheros daily, requests for such outcomes can not be satisfied at this stage, the minister has said, because there is no margin for their implementation.

Unions claim Georgiades’ response conflicts with the framework deal they had signed with the Government, while the finance minister, has stressed “the need to maintain a balanced budget and the obligation to properly organise the government’s priorities”.

Unsurprisingly, the minister’s stance has been met negatively by unions, which are already weighing up strike action by their members.

Regarding the other, particularly sensitive, issue of setting up a provident fund for newcomers to the workforce, who are not already covered by another pension plan that the trade union movement has set in recent years, Minister Georgiades reiterated that he will soon conclude his proposals on the matter, and discussions will follow.

As stated in a recent letter to the unions by Georgiades, the proposal will have retroactive effect, with the finance minister asserting that “the short delay will not be at the expense of workers’ rights”.

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