All possibilities are open in Thursday’s scheduled meeting between the Labour Minister and social partners over the hot issue of the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA).
CoLA refers to the automatic indexation of wages according to the cost of living which unions and consumer organization believe it is currently capped at half of its true value.
It is not excluded that a mediation proposal will be tabled by Minister Kyriacos Koushos, Philenews reports before adding that this move will keep the ongoing dialogue going – at least for a while longer.
At the same time, the possibility of a deadlock in the mediation process cannnot be ruled out.
And this would pave the way for protests and works stoppages – something that both public and private sector unions have been preparing.
However, all will depend on the consultations and discussions to take place on Thursday as labour unrest is looming.
Koushos’ much-speculated mediation proposal could be transitional or temporary, according to insiders.
One also said he Minister could propose a small increase in the 50% of CoLA for this year.
The trade unions, however, want the percentage to be close to 70% for this year and have made clear that any new agreement should provide the full restoration of the institution in two- or three-years’ time.
On the other hand, employers’ organisations seem to be positive only to the possibility of a gradual restoration of the CoLA over the years.
And with no changes to the rate for this year, but the most probable scenario is that they will ask for time to review any possible proposed mediation.