CyBC must slash 100 jobs, € 105 mln pen­sions

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The state broad­caster CyBC needs to cut back its pay­roll by at least 100 peo­ple, ex­perts have ad­vised gov­ern­ment, with In­te­rior Min­is­ter Socratis Hasikos try­ing to calm nerves among the re­volt­ing work­ers by sug­gest­ing that job cuts does not nec­es­sar­ily mean lay­offs.

PwC has sub­mit­ted a re­struc­tur­ing plan for the per­ma­nently-in-deficit CyBC tht calls for fur­ther cut­backs as well as en­hanc­ing the state-guar­an­teed pen­sion fund that shows a short­fall of about 105 mln euros.

It seems that the black hole was cre­ated by pre­vi­ous boards that kept on dip­ping into the fund in or­der to fi­nance other pur­chase and projects, in­clud­ing sup­port­ing the over-in­flated pay­roll. The broad­caster’s bud­get for 2014 of 24.3 mln will not be enough to close the year, and the gov­ern­ment has asked par­lia­ment to ap­prove a sup­ple­men­tary 2 mln euros, while the same bud­get has been pro­posed for 2015, which will, once again, have a short­fall be­fore the year is over.

From his ear­lier mil­i­tant stance that of­ten in the past fell short of de­mand­ing CyBC shut­ting down com­pletely, Hasikos seemed to backed down when on Tues­day he told a morn­ing ra­dio talk show that the job cuts could also mean trans­fer to other pub­lic ser­vices or vol­un­tary re­dun­dan­cies.

Union bosses brought the ex­am­ple of the pub­lic slaugh­ter­house whereby work­ers there were trans­ferred or reem­ployed in sim­i­lar posts or other abat­toirs. They added that the CyBC per­ma­nent staff are a mere 90, with the bal­ance be­ing part-timers, con­trac­tual work­ers and non-broad­cast work­ers (cler­i­cal, car­pen­ters, elec­tri­cians, gar­den­ers, etc.)

Gov­ern­ment Spokesman Ni­cos Christodoulides also joined the ef­forts to calm CyBC staff by say­ing that Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades’s com­mit­ment to avoid lay­offs still stands, “with­out un­der­min­ing the re­view by the con­sul­tants and the In­te­rior Min­is­ter’s com­ments.”

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