Two years after the expiration of the previous collective agreement in the construction sector, the Cypriot social partners finally agreed on the terms of a new collective agreement. After several unsuccessful attempts at renewal, the social partners accepted a proposal for mediation from the Ministry of Labour and reached an agreement in principle in February 2013. The new agreement includes measures to reduce wage costs and undclared work and marks the end of the strike that began in January 2012. The sensitive issue was the duration of the collective agreement, which will be increased to two years by employers and unions to three years. They agreed to a two-and-a-half-year term, retroactive from January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. As far as coverage of negotiations is concerned, the agreement in the construction sector is one of the oldest sectoral agreements in Cyprus. It has about 40,000 workers, of whom about 25,000 are unionized. However, according to mlSI`s Ministry of Labour Relations estimates, coverage of negotiations has been lower since 2008, both at the industry and company levels, while unions have lost a large proportion of their membership. On 12 February 2013, after lengthy discussions, the social partners in the construction sector agreed on the terms of renewal of the collective agreement, both in the direct negotiation phase and in the conciliation phase. The agreement was approved by the congresses of three associations: the Democratic Labour Federation of Cyprus (DEOK), the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) and the Cyprus Workers` Confederation (SEK). There were two votes against and four abstentions, and then the permanent strike in the sector, which began on 24 January 2013, ended on 13 February 2013.
The strike is considered the longest since 1948. The parties recommend that procedures for absences caused by the temporary care of a child under the age of 10 be included in the agreement on the self-reporting procedure. The special allowance to be paid to workers` representatives is increased by 3.4% for the entire contractual period, i.e. until 30 April 2020. The agreement was signed by MLSI and Costas Rousia, President of OSEOK, and by representatives of the Cyprus Building, Wood, Mine and General Workers` Trade Union (a member of the PEO) in collaboration with the SEK-affiliated Federation of Builders, Miners and Persons. Negotiations for a new collective agreement for the Dutch construction and infrastructure company began on 12 February. The agreement provides for a reduction in weekly salaries of 10 euros (as of 1 January 2013) and a further reduction in weekly wages of 9 euros from 1 January 2014. These reductions came into effect when the agreement was signed (February 13, 2013), but they are not retroactive.
Weekly starting wages remain unchanged for the duration of the branch collective agreement; 440 euros for technicians, 380 euros for workers and 403 euros for fishing.