ECONOMY

No raises this year, tiny hike in 2011

Private sector employees will have to wait one year to see even a minimal raise with the signing yesterday of a three-year collective labor agreement by industry and trade representatives and the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE). Following months of negotiations, the deal provides for no increase in salaries for the next 12 months, and pay rises in line with average eurozone inflation from July 2011, i.e. 1.5 percent in a year’s time and 1.7 percent in 2012. Inflation in Greece stood at 5.2 percent last month. «This year there will be no wage rises because it is a particularly difficult year,» said GSEE spokesman Stathis Anestis. «It is evident that securing jobs is more important than a wage hike.» The good news for private sector workers is the safeguarding of the Christmas, Easter and summer bonus allowances, known in Greece as the 13th and 14th salaries, which have been scrapped in the public sector. «We have safeguarded the 13th and 14th salaries of employees. Christmas, Easter and vacation allowances are now recognized as regular payments,» said the president of Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), Dimitris Daskalopoulos, following the meeting of the parties concerned.