Labour Relations in the Municipalities
The basic framework of industrial relations in the Municipalities of Cyprus is governed by the Municipalities Law, the Municipal Service regulations, the Pensions regulations, the current collective agreements, the Job Descriptions, the Cyprus code of Industrial relations and more broadly the Cyprus Labour law (for occupational safety and health, equality, non-discrimination, rights, information on rights, etc.).
In 2004, the Union of Cyprus Municipalities created the Joint Committee of Municipalities Staff (JCMS) with the participation of the Trade Unions, through which work issues concerning most municipalities are discussed and promoted. In 2010, the JCMS promoted the uniformed Job Descriptions for all the employee positions regarding all the municipalities (except the occupied municipalities since the Turkish invasion of 1974).
The Joint Committee of Municipalities Staff (JCMS) consists of the official and the Labour side. The official side is the President, the deputy Chairman, the Secretary and two members appointed by the Executive Committee of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, together with the five mayors-presidents of the district committees of JCMS. The Labour side is defined by the General Secretaries of the Trade Unions, OHO -SEK and SIDIKEK-PEO, with the right to be replaced when demanded. In order for the JCMS to make a decision, an official and working side agreement is necessary.
JCMS, based on its operating regulations approved by the Executive Committee of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, deals with the following issues:
General principles concerning:
- Times and working hours
- Annual leaves, sick leaves, maternity.
- Health care
- Earnings and allowances in respect of individual or a group of work positions, or municipalities as a whole.
- Retirement Benefits
- Any other matters that affect the terms of service regarding any position, or a group of working posts, or municipalities as a whole.
It is understood that the consultations by the Joint Committee of Municipalities Staff (JCMS) on the above, or other related issues, are limited to general principles. Individual cases are not examined.
- Training and educational projects for municipal employees.
- Means of exploitation of the ideas and experiences of municipal employees.
- Proposed legislation or modification of existing legislation when it affects the terms of service of municipal employees.
- Issues related to the welfare of municipal employees.
- Labour disputes in municipalities.
- Types of employment and service provision in municipalities.
In 2018, the first two Pancyprian collective agreements (one for the clerical and one for the labour staff of the municipalities – except the occupied municipalities – covering the period 2015-2016) were finalised and the process for their renewal has already begun. The District labour relations Committees, created by the JCMS, which promoted uniformity in the terms of service of the municipalities staff in their provinces, played an important role in this direction.
The effort of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities to promote uniform regulations on the pension benefits of the municipalities’ staff, was completed in 2014, with the publication of the Pensions regulations of the Municipality of Nicosia ( 412/2013). For legal reasons it was considered that these regulations need to be updated.
The Union of Cyprus Μunicipalities has already entrusted the work of preparing updated and uniform regulations to a reputable lawyer, which is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. The new updated and uniform regulations will be published by the Nicosia Municipality and will then be adopted by all municipalities in Cyprus (except the occupied municipalities).
For the workers of the municipalities, provident funds are operated by the Municipality or by the Trade Unions, if employees joint their provident funds.
Regarding the working relations in the occupied municipalities, the public service is generally followed. The Trade Unions requested the drafting of a Pancyprian collective agreement, something that the Executive Committee of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities and JCMS agreed on. However the matter was left to be discussed after the completion of the process of renewing the Pancyprian collective agreement for the non-occupied municipalities.