Joint Press Statement
As Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Trade Union (KTÖS), Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS), Eastern Mediterranean University Academic Staff Union (DAÜSEN), and Revolutionary Trade Unions Federation (DEV-İŞ), we stand in solidarity with The English School Staff Union (ESSA) and support their struggle.
Although the Union President Myrto Hasapopoulou, General Secretary Marienda Stephanou and Financial Secretary Maria Perikleous carried out their educational activities, duties and responsibilities at the highest order, the Headmaster of The English School and the Board of Management decided to dismiss three female unionists from the school by majority vote.
This decision is an extrajudicial execution given against three female trade unionists who fought against the dismissal of 13 people, defended collective bargaining agreement and right to unionize in the past years.
PEO, SEK, OELMEK, POED, OLTEK, PASYDY, POASO, DEOK, ISOTITA, DEDE, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, DEV-İŞ and DAÜSEN are currently supporting ESSA’s struggle and the cancellation of the decision to dismiss three women unionists. We publicly announce that we will also support the petition launched in this direction.
Anastasiades will be responsible for the dismissal of three female trade unionists
The school principal and the board of directors, who were hostile towards the trade union struggle, referred three women unionists to the disciplinary committee formed by the school administration to dismiss them from the school for ridiculous and fabricated reasons. Therefore, the disciplinary committee decided upon the recommendation to expel the three women unionists from the school. The anti-democratic and biased recommendation of the Disciplinary Board was recently approved by a majority vote of the Board of Management.
It is against the principle of right to unionize for the headmaster of the school , who does not realize that the opinion or attitude expressed is a legal union right, to act in a way that restricts or accuses trade unionists. We argue that the school principal’s hostile attitude towards three female unionists is provocative and should not remain unanswered legally.
Totalitarian school management and union hostility are inexplicable in a European Union state which should be working to strengthen democracy, freedom and justice principles.
Mr. Anastasiades, who appointed the school board, is ignoring the issue and still not responding the request for a meeting of the unions of the two communities. This shows that Anastasiades is part of this extrajudicial execution.
By stating the ESSA’s right to engage in union activities and the right to organize should be respected, for the annulment of the decision made for the dismissal of three female
unionists, Mr. Anastasiades’ response to our call for a bi-communal joint meeting and his involvement in the solution of the problem will contribute to the working peace in The English School. Otherwise, Mr. Anastasiades will be responsible for the dismissal of three women unionists.
KTÖS General Secretary
(On Behalf of)
KTÖS, KTOEÖS, DAÜSEN, DEV-İŞ
Attachment 1: About ESSA And Petition
A/ About The English School Staff Union (ESSA):
ESSA is a union with a total of 80 members from the two communities, organized in a private institution, The English School, in Nicosia. All employees are union members.
The school’s Board of Management consists of families and board members are appointed by the recommendation of Nikos Anastasiades. In the administrative staff of the school, there is 1 Headmaster and 6 Assistant-Heads
B/ About the Petition:
A petition has been launched by The English School Staff Union for freedom of association and for the cancellation of the dismissal of three female trade unionists from The English School.
We, as the citizens who signed this petition, demand from Mr. Anastasiades to take all necessary measures to overturn the decision to dismiss the staff of The English School Staff Union (ESSA).
We demand the annulment of this decision of The English School Executive Board, which endanger the working relations in our country and which refers to medieval age practices. More specifically, the decision violates Article 5(1)(a) of the Workers Representatives Convention (Enforcement) Act 1995-2012, which provides effective protection for workers’ representatives and prohibits the employer from firing trade unionists in the event of union action.
PEO, SEK, OELMEK, POED, OLTEK, PASYDY, POASO, DEOK, ISOTITA, DEDE, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, DEV-İŞ and DAÜSEN are currently supporting ESSA’s struggle and the annulment of the decision to dismiss three women unionists.
Anyone who wants to support this rightfl struggle can join the petition by clicking the link below.