Pay rul­ing ‘spe­cial case’

Court de­ci­sion against salary cuts for mil­i­tary, se­cu­rity staff won’t ap­ply to oth­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A de­ci­sion by the coun­try’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court that deems un­con­sti­tu­tional the wage cuts im­posed on mem­bers of the armed forces and emer­gency ser­vices in 2012 is a spe­cial case and does not set a prece­dent for em­ploy­ees of other parts of the civil ser­vice or in­de­pen­dent or­ga­ni­za­tions, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

The de­ci­sion, which was leaked to the me­dia on Mon­day but is not ex­pected to be made pub­lic for at least a month, had un­set­tled the gov­ern­ment as sev­eral ap­peals have been lodged against wage cuts de­manded by Greece’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors.

There were fears that a se­ries of sim­i­lar ap­peals, if vin­di­cated, would put the gov­ern­ment in the po­si­tion of hav­ing to find mil­lions of eu­ros to re­turn with­held salaries.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to sources, the pres­i­dent of the Coun­cil of State, Sotiris Ri­zos, and other se­nior ju­di­cial of­fi­cials dis­cussed sev­eral other ap­peals late on Mon­day – by em­ploy­ees of the Fi­nance Min­istry and in­de­pen­dent bod­ies – and deemed that the en­force­ment of a new uni­fied wage scale for civil ser­vants does not vi­o­late the Con­sti­tu­tion in th­ese cases.

The case of the armed forces and emer­gency ser­vices is dif­fer­ent, a top ju­di­cial of­fi­cial told Kathimerini, as the em­ploy­ees in th­ese sec­tors con­sti­tute “the hard core of the state.” Ac­cord­ing to sources, the rea­son­ing be­hind the Coun­cil of State’s de­ci­sion will ex­plain, once it is pub- lished, that em­ploy­ees in th­ese sec­tors should en­joy spe­cial treat­ment by the Con­sti­tu­tion as they are banned from strik­ing and from other em­ploy­ment and have the re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­sur­ing na­tional se­cu­rity and pub­lic safety.

“The fact that staff of the armed forces and se­cu­rity ser­vices are be­ing treated as a spe­cial cat­e­gory can­not set a strong le­gal prece­dent for other sim­i­lar ap­peals,” a se­nior ju­di­cial source told Kathimerini.

The court de­ci­sion re­lat­ing to mil­i­tary and se­cu­rity ser­vices em­ploy­ees is ex­pected to cost the state around 100 mil­lion eu­ros, Kathimerini un­der­stands. The wage cuts were voted through Par­lia­ment in De­cem­ber 2012 but were ap­plied retroac­tively from Au­gust of that year.

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