Cyta unions to respond to privatisations plan this week
Trade unions at state-owned telecoms provider Cyta met on Tuesday to review the government’s proposal over the status and the rights of the employees after the privatisation of the semi-government organisation. The unions said that they would respond to the Finance Minister by the end of the week. They also said that they want the proposal to be submitted to Parliament in the form of a bill. The government’s proposal has been prepared after consultation and exchange of views at the joint consultative committee for Cyta.
Government sources were quoted by the Cyprus News Agency as saying that the proposal would make sense only after the government finds a suitable investor, adding that even after the bill on the establishment of the new private company passes through Parliament, the employees will still belong to the public company.
During the transitional period the workers will have four options. The first is to work with the new private company on the basis of a private sector contract. A package of free shares will be offered to the workers as an incentive. The second is to work with the new company under a contract but maintain their position at the public company without payment for as long as they or the investor wish. The third option would be voluntary retirement and the fourth would be a transfer to another public department.
The bill on the establishment of the new private Cyta is expected to be tabled to the Cabinet on August 19 and then to the Parliament. The government will then begin looking for a strategic investor, a procedure that is expected to last no nine months.
Meanwhile, the federation of independent unions POAS, said that Undersecretary to the President Constantinos Petrides has undermined their organisation, especially now that privatisations are being discussed.
POAS said that it represents some 20% of all workers in public organisations, including EAC, the Ports Authority, water boards and Cyta through PASE-ATHK.