Despite circulars by the Finance Ministry and Treasury that salaries of employees in the public sector and semi-governmental organisations won’t change for the time being, dozens of civil servants are sending letters to the Accounting Office asking for no cuts in their May paycheck.
This is in response to the decision in March by the island’s administrative court which had ruled that a freeze on incremental pay rises, a 3 per cent contribution to pensions, and a reduction in civil servants’ pay was in violation of article 23 of the constitution regarding the protection of the right to property.
Even though the Supreme Court held its first hearing on the appeals filed by the state against the decisions only a few days ago, the Police Association also started collecting signatures against the salary cuts. They are following on the footsteps of teachers and other members of the public sector.
The Association calls on police officers to fill in personal details and sign a relevant document sent to them by May 30. In addition, they sent a letter sent to Accountant General Rhea Georgiou demanding that instructions be given for the return to each police officer of all cuts to their gross monthly earnings as from March 29. That was the date the Administrative Court’s decisions were taken.
The Association also calls on the Treasury to comply with the court rulings which, they argue, did not issue an order for the suspension of the execution of the decisions.
In response, a Treasury spokesman referred to a previous statement by the department which said that “in view of the fact that the court case is pending and there is absence of a final judgment, the demands made will be examined at a later time depending on the outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision.”
At the same time, a circular issued by the Finance Ministry said that following advice by the island’s Attorney General, immediate compliance with the decision of the Administrative Court was not expected. And that compliance should come after the Supreme Court decision on the state’s appeals.