Unionized teachers in the Republic of Cyprus have secured a time change for school exams on Thursday so that members can take part in a major strike to demand restoration of pre-crisis wage indexation mechanisms for union workers.
Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou has approved an unusual request from organized teachers, who called on the government to change the time for certain school exams o Thursday so that unionized educators could participate in a strike from 12 noon until 3pm.
Prodromou approved the time change saying the right to strike ought to be respected, meaning high school students taking exams on Thursday would start earlier so that union teachers could join the demonstration that starts at 12 noon.
About three quarters of the private sector's workforce are not affected by wage indexation mechanisms, while one quarter is known to have signed up with union contracts
Younger students at elementary institutions will get a recess from 12 noon until 1pm, when children will remain on school premises. Educators can then take part in the major strike after 1:05pm, when the final school bell rings.
Hundreds of thousands of union workers across the state are expected to take part in the demonstration, after Labor Minister Kyriacos Koushios last week said talks had collapsed between organized employers and union bosses.
Civil servants and some private employees are expected to take part in the strike to demand gradual restoration of wage indexation mechanisms to pre-crisis levels after they froze in 2012 ahead of a financial crisis.
About three quarters of the private sector's workforce are not affected by wage indexation mechanisms, while one quarter is known to have signed up with union contracts based on laws enacted decades ago.
The current administration had reinstated part of the mechanism in 2018 but employers this month argued conditions did not allow for such measures to go forward.
Union bosses argue that workers lost some 10% of their purchasing power and are owed income adjustments based on contracts they have signed.
Media pundits criticized the demonstration which takes place as the outgoing government is on its last leg ahead of elections next month.