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Government alters working hours with union agreement

20 December 2016

Deputy PM and Minister of Finance Serdar Denktaş has announced that the government and trade unions have come to an agreement over working hours.

The unions had been staging strikes over the past two weeks demanding that the government set the clocks back to Daylight Saving Time (DST) following a tragic accident that claimed the lives of two school children and their bus driver.

According to the agreement reached, public sector working hours will be between 8:30am and 3:30pm with the exception of Thursdays which will be between 8:30am-1:00pm and 2pm-6pm.

Classes will start at 8:30pm.

In a written statement issued yesterday, Denktaş said that an agreement had been reached with trade unions, following talks over the weekend, in a bid to prevent the further disruption of education at schools and services at government offices.

All civil servants and teachers are expected to abide by the agreement reached between the government and the trade unions”, the statement read.

A government proposal to pay teachers on morning duty overtime was also withdrawn following the agreement.

Denktaş also announced that details regarding school hours and other issues would be finalised at a meeting to be held between the trade unions and officials from the education ministry on Monday afternoon.

The chairman of the Public Sector Workers Union (KTAMS) Ahmet Kaptan announced, however, that the agreement reached with the government only ended the civil disobedience against the government and that their struggle will continue until the government reverts to the use of DST.

The leader of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEOS) Tahir Gokcebel said that they reached an agreement with the government as previous school hours had a negative impact on students.

He said that the real goal of persuading the government to put the clocks back by one hour, still continues.

Gokcebel also said that there will be plans made to ensure that children will make up for the classes they missed, because of the strike action.

BRT

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