Civil servants reject work-to-rule but prepare for strikes

The civil servants? union, ADEDY, says that it has no intention of encouraging its members to take part in work-to-rule protests but is likely to hold strikes to protest the government?s reform of the public sector.

ADEDY had indicated that it might call on civil servants to protest wage cuts and extended hours by, amongst other things, refusing to collect taxes after a certain hour. This suggestion prompted a backlash from the government.

However, speaking to Skai TV on Monday, ADEDY general secretary, Ilias Iliopoulos, said that the union was considering organizing strikes to display its opposition to the reforms.

?ADEDY has no intention of holding a work-to-rule protest or engaging in activism,? he said.

Civil servants have until the end of Monday to decide their new schedules after the government approved the extension of their working hours from 37.5 to 40.

They are being offered the option of working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8.30 to 4.30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The civil servants will be required to serve the public for six of these eight hours, apart from tax offices, where citizens? access will continue to be restricted to 5.5 hours.

The government, which is in the process of reducing the size of the public sector and will only be hiring one person for every 10 that leave the service, has said that the effect of extending civil servants? hours will be like hiring 45,000 new employees.

A law passed in May 1981 established the 37.5-hour working week for public servants.

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