The Executive Secretariat of the PEO met today with the President of the Republic, Nikos, to discuss the developments related to the implementation of the minimum wage, the employment strategy of workers from third countries, the GESS, the accuracy and the modernization of the pension and tax system. Anastasiadis.
In statements to KYPE after the meeting, the Minister of Labor Zeta Aimilianidou said that “we have started the social dialogue, for the implementation of the minimum wage, the employment of staff and other issues”. He said that the reform of the Social Security system is also an important issue. He noted that for most issues, the social dialogue with all social partners has already begun, “so that the best solutions can be found”.
In her own statements after the meeting, the General Secretary of PEO, Sotiroula Charalambous stated that PEO informed the President about her positions on key issues, such as the minimum wage, the employment of workers from third countries, the GESS, the pension reform and tax system and accuracy.
“Where there are agreed minimum wages in sectoral collective agreements, these will be the legal minimum wages for those professions. “For those professions that are not covered by collective agreements, a framework of basic rights must be defined through a mechanism of collective bargaining”, he said regarding the positions of PEO on the issue of the minimum wage. He added that the issue should be regulated, in order to stop the current phenomenon of non-implementation of collective agreements, and to have personal contracts with salaries without basic rights, especially for young employees.
On the issue of workers from third countries, he noted that where and when it is found that there are needs, in a process in which the trade union movement will participate, those who are licensed, must apply the collective agreements and the agreed terms of employment to avoid unfair competition with local staff.
In addition, on the issue of accuracy, he said that there is a need to take additional measures, as it hits the low-income and the poor.
President's instructions for resolving the issue with the small checks of low-income retirees
“We also raised with the President the issue that has been created with the small checks of a large group of low-income retirees. The President informed us that he had given instructions to resolve the issue. “A retiree can not get an increase, and instead of his total income improving, he can see it deteriorating”, noted the Secretary General of PEO.
Regarding GESS, he said that improvement measures are needed, but its philosophy and architecture must be maintained.
“Pensioners should have adequate pensions to live decently and not need other types of policies and support,” he said on the issue of pension reform. Ms. Charalambous said that the PEO reaffirmed its position that the 12% reduction in pensions for those who choose to retire at 63 after 33 years of work is an unfair measure, which should be included in the debate on pension reform. resolved.
On the issue of tax reform, Ms Charalambous said that a social dialogue should take place first and that it should be borne in mind that, in particular, green taxes, which should be introduced for harmonization with the EU, should not lead to burdening low wages and vulnerable households.
More than 210,000 workers supported by special pandemic plans, Government Spokesman says
According to a written statement by Government Spokesman Marios Pelicanos, the President of the Republic made special reference to the Special Plans for dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, which have supported more than 210 thousand workers, unemployed and employers, at a cost of over 2 billion euros , which together with other policies contributed to the reduction of unemployment to the lowest level since 2009, while special reference was made to the substantial policies that have been implemented to protect the rights of workers.
During the meeting, said Mr. Pelekanos, “the President of the Republic informed, among other things, the Executive Secretariat of PEO about the developments in relation to the implementation of the minimum wage, the employment strategy of workers from third countries, the GESS and the modernization of the pension system “.
The memo of PEO
In the memorandum submitted by the PEO to the President of the Republic, which was published, the proposal for state intervention is mentioned in order to record “the percentage of coverage of employees by collective labor contracts and at the same time to cover all employees with adequate and decent wages ».
It is also noted that measures are needed to limit the recruitment of employees by purchasing services, to meet permanent needs, something in which the public and semi-public sector and local government are leading.
In addition, reference is made to the restoration of the ATA. “In 2021, the transitional agreement for ATA expired. We expect the dialogue to start immediately with the aim of restoring the full performance of the indexation allowance, having as a compass the role of ATA as a mechanism for restoring the erosion that wages receive from inflation “, it is noted.
We note at the same time, he adds, “that the ATA must be one of the basic criteria for shaping and adjusting the minimum wage when it is introduced.”
In terms of dealing with accuracy, PEO refers in its memorandum to measures such as reduction of VAT and other charges on electricity for as long as the wave of increases continues, reduction of VAT on basic necessities, direct increase in social benefits for to cover the loss of the most vulnerable households from continuous increases.
In relation to the improvements proposed for the GESS, the PEO proposes to address the problems of non-coverage of non-prescription drugs for chronic patients and retirees and states that the government in the context of social policy could help to fill this gap. Adding to the Union's concern about the autonomy of public hospitals and the problems that have arisen in manpower shortages and other employment problems.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Finance, Labor, the Government Spokesman, the Undersecretary to the President, the Deputy Government Spokesperson and officials.