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Nicosia Dispute Resolved?

8 January 2013

Nicosia council workers’ union, BES, encouraged by the the government’s proposal to transfer TL 6 million to Nicosia Council, have ended their strike.

Yesterday, BES signed an agreement with Nicosia Council and their members will all be back at work today. This ends the strike that has dragged on for nearly three months.

According to information received, the TL 6 million is an advance from the planned transfer of monies from the government to the council in 2013. In addition it has been promised that unpaid salaries for the past three months will be paid by Friday.

However, again from reliable sources, this is not the end of the story. While BES will be announcing that they have secured all unpaid wages for their striking members, they will not be publicising other details of the agreement. One of these is that council employees will in effect, have a pay cut as their salaries will be reduced by 8% during 2013 so as to partially repay the TL 6 million advance.

BES leader, Savas Bozat said that announcing publicly that he would be meeting the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias was the reason that there had been an urgent solution to the long running dispute. He added that the TRNC government was under intense pressure from Turkey to solve the dispute. Mr Bozat also revealed that he had had a number of discussions with the Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk and that if no solution had been reached by 29th January, Mr Kucuk had proposed that the Nicosia mayor and management would be removed and be replaced following new elections.

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