In a joint letter to the Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos, seven trade unions request the restoration of the allowances of workers with the shift system.
"We ask the Government and the Ministry of Finance to act to remove the ongoing injustice against us and we reserve the rights and legal interests of our members", they state in their joint letter dated March 28, 2023, which they made public unions All Cyprus Union of Government Doctors, All Cyprus Nurses Union, Independent Union of Telecommunications Workers, All Cyprus Independent Union of ATHIK Workers, EAC Shift Clerks Union, EAC Scientific Staff Union and All Cyprus Union of Air Traffic Controllers.
They report that "for these workers, allowances for shift work, night work, work on Sundays and public holidays, overtime, weekday and Sunday/holiday overtime and the like remain significantly reduced for a decade."
"If you factor in increased inflation, which affects the purchasing power of all workers, the financial burden for shift workers is doubled," they add.
According to the seven unions, "ten years ago, when the economic crisis that was sweeping the globe finally did not overtake Cyprus, the workers in the Public Service and in the wider public sector shouldered a large part of the cuts in salaries".
They report that "for shift workers, in adverse conditions, the actual reduction in earnings was even greater" and add that "compensation for proven unhealthy night work was significantly reduced."
"So was the compensation for working on public holidays, which was a minimal compensation for those who work while their families celebrate without them," they add.
They also report that as the economy improved, the benefits and salaries of public and government employees working office hours were gradually almost fully restored.
But not the shift workers, as they say, "who sacrifice a large part of their personal, family and social life, day and night, Sundays, Christmas, Easter and so many other holidays to treat patients, ensure the supply of electricity, telecommunications and air traffic, to support the orderly functioning of the state and society".