Compensation issues the focus of PPC salary talks with union

Negotiations between Genop, the main union group at power utility PPC, and the utility’s board, for a new collective wage agreement concerning around 19,000 staff members and covering 2018 to 2021 are on the final stretch.

No major changes, compared to the current agreement, expiring in February next year, are being discussed. Once again, no salary increases will be possible as a result of a bailout-related ban on pay rises at all state-controlled firms and utilities until the end of 2018.

Instead, a series of technical issues are being focused on by the two sides, including a union push aiming to avoid offsetting retirement lump sums against compensation amounts offered for forced lay-offs.

This issue surfaced early this year when PPC decided to trim its payroll by offering roughly 200 pension-aged employees incentives, in the form of 15,000-euro bonuses, to retire. These staff members, most around 60 years old, were eligible for pensions but chose to keep working, propelled by pension cuts at state utilities.

Eventually, 180 employees accepted the voluntary retirement offer extended by the power utility, while 19 refused and were fired by PPC, four of these just days ago, on September 30.

At present, PPC’s payroll numbers 10,600 staff members, while a further 6,500 are employed at subsidiary firm HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, locally acronymed DEDDIE, and 1,400 employees are on the payroll at IPTO, the power grid operator.