Bill pledg­ing wage hikes, jobs un­der scru­tiny

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A draft bill due to be de­bated in Par­lia­ment this week, aim­ing to grant job se­cu­rity, and wage in­creases, to sev­eral cat­e­gories of pub­lic sec­tor work­ers has come un­der the scru­tiny of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors.

A Euro­pean Com­mis­sion of­fi­cial in­di­cated over the week­end that Greece’s lenders are aware of some as­pects of the new bill but in­tend to as­sess it in its en­tirety.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials had ini­tially in­di­cated that the bill would reg­u­late the sit­u­a­tion with lo­cal author­ity work­ers, thou­sands of whom have been em­ployed on re­new­able short­term con­tracts for years. How­ever, with its wealth of wage in­creases and ben­e­fits, the leg­is­la­tion is ap­par­ently de­signed to ap­pease work­ers fol­low­ing a se­ries of re­cent protests, no­tably pro­tracted strike ac­tion by garbage col­lec­tors last month.

The likely fis­cal im­pact of the mea­sures re­mains un­clear, hence the in­ter­ven­tion by for­eign au­di­tors.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, a rul­ing by the State Au­dit Coun­cil has paved the way for the dis­burse­ment of months of un­paid wages to thou­sands of mu­nic­i­pal san­i­ta­tion work­ers on ex­pired short-term con­tracts. Ac­cord- ing to the rul­ing, the work­ers should be paid as, al­though they were not on con­tract dur­ing the first few months of this year, they ful­filled their du­ties. How­ever, the court deemed that the ex­ten­sion of those work­ers’ con­tracts un­til the end of the year, as the gov­ern­ment has pledged, would be a vi­o­la­tion of Greece’s Con­sti­tu­tion and of Euro­pean reg­u­la­tions.

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