High court upholds 2012 abolition of so-called 13th, 14th salaries for public sector employees

Wednesday, 17 July 2019 14:32
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The Council of State (CoS), Greece's highest administrative court, this week upheld the abolition of the so-called "13th" and "14th" salaries for public servants and employees of state-controlled entities in the country, years after the cuts were implemented as a result of the first two memorandum bailouts.

A series of CoS rulings upheld the constitutionality of the pay cuts, a particularly painful development during the bailout years for the sizable number of wage-earners working in the wider state sector.

One of the arguments cited by the majority of justices signing the ruling is that the minimum wage scale, of between 780 to 1,092 euros in the public sector, is sufficient to ensure a "respectable level of living standards... compared to those (people) living near the poverty threshold and those employed in the private sector with the minimum (monthly) wage and daily wage."

The ruling overturns a previous decision by a seven-justice CoS court section, which said the pay cuts, applied in 2012, were unconstitutional.

The "14th" bonus was an additional monthly salary allocated at the end of December every year, while the "13th" bonus was half of a monthly salary allocated before Easter every year, with the other half paid out with the annual summer vacation.

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