There is no postponement but a delay. This is the reality for the national minimum wage (NRM) according to the General Secretary of the SEC, Andreas Matsa.
Commenting on the introduction of the minimum wage on the front page of Sigma, Mr. Matsas said that there is no turning back, however, the developments and effects of the war at the moment create additional issues that need to be addressed, resulting in delays in the issue of EKM.
In the next period, according to Mr. Matsas, the Labor Advisory Body will be convened in order to start the procedures of defining and establishing the EKM again.
Not less than 924 euros
Regarding the amount of the EKM, Mr. Matsas noted that it is considered a given that "at least the set minimum starting salary will not be lower than the minimum salary currently set on the basis of the relevant Ministerial Decree".
According to the Ministerial Decree which covers 9 professions, the minimum wage starts at 870 euros and in 6 months of work rises to 924 euros.
It is recalled that this Ministerial Decree currently covers the following professions: clerks, saleswomen, school assistants, pediatric assistants, babysitters, nursing assistants, caregivers in institutions, security guards and cleaners / facilities.
The SEC puts ATA enlargement on the table
According to Mr. Matsas, the mechanism of its adjustment to the database of the economy is also of great importance in determining the ECM. "It is here that the usefulness of the ATA institution as an automatic regulation of the purchasing power of wages is confirmed once again," added the Secretary General of the SEC.
In this regard, Mr. Matsas said, the SEC will propose the return of ATA to its basic philosophy - which was in force before the framework agreement which expired at the end of 2021 -. In addition, the SEC will request the expansion of the ATA in order for "all employees to enjoy it".
ATA is currently applied to about 40% of employees. In fact, if the wider public sector is removed, the percentage of employees who enjoy ATA does not exceed 20% to 25%.
Although on the part of the Trade Unions it is the first time that the connection of ATA with EKM is openly attempted, by the Employers' Organizations and especially of OEB, the position has been repeatedly expressed that “ATA is an obsolete mechanism that has been abolished by all almost the EU states "and therefore its abolition is proposed in Cyprus as well.
However, the Minister of Labor, as many times as the issue of ATA has been on the table, invokes the current agreements, saying that there is no room for discussion at the moment and refers to a later stage any relevant processes.