An announcement was issued by the Cyprus Army Non-Commissioned Officers (SYKS) Association regarding the promotions of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), Contracted NCOs, the group life insurance plan of SYKS members, the summer holiday packages of PASYDY, the sports activities of SYKS, the Contracted NCOs’ contracts, after compulsory retirement, on the completion of 400 months of service for full retirement, the salary scales of Warrant Officers, the new pension scheme, the working hour regulations, the amendments of regulations as well as the review of risk benefits.
More details below:
The Board of Directors of the Cyprus Army Non-Commissioned Officers Association (SYKS), acknowledging the various issues that concern its members, and since it was impossible to hold personal briefings because of the measures taken for the coronavirus pandemic, tries to inform members in various other ways either by phone via text messages or through the announcements on our now updated website.
Generally, regarding the issues concerning the NCOs, we inform you of the following:
- NCOs’ PROMOTIONS:
In March 2021, following evaluation procedures, the promotions of 129 NCOs (from vacant and new positions) were announced in all ranks, as provided in the 2017 Regulations on NCOs.
There will be promotions arising from vacant positions this year and others, as a result of retirements, before December 1, 2021. It is expected that the Ministry of Defence will keep to what was agreed and promised regarding the increase of positions in various ranks, more promotions compared to the limited promotions in previous years, injustices and retirement limits of several Non-Commissioned Officers.
More information will be announced after an announcement by the Honorable Minister of Defence. (It is noted that, with the above new positions there will be a benefit in the lower ranks where there is great injustice because the personnel is not promoted for many years resulting in an income gap and because many of them will nearly retire so they will not get to be promoted. Currently, there is special injustice in the School Sergeants (ASSY) who have been in the same rank for 10-11 years without getting any promotion and in female non-commissioned officers who received permanent tenure after 10-14 years instead of the 6-year period provided by the regulation. The time when they were volunteers does not count as service and most are close to retirement).
- CONTRACTED NCOs’ PROMOTIONS:
The promotions of Contracted NCOs are expected regarding the promotions of all Sergeant NCOs to Staff Sergeants (after 21 years of service in the same rank without any promotion), since the Contracted NCOs’ evaluation process is in its final stage. It is noted that promotions have been requested for Staff Sergeants so as to be promoted to Sergeant Majors, but these were not approved by the Ministry of Finance. The promotion request for Sergeant NCOs’ is expected to be resubmitted since they have not been promoted for several years and some will nearly retire.
More details on the matter will be provided at a later stage after our relevant information by the Honorable Minister of Defence.
- GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PLAN FOR SYKS MEMBERS:
We would like to remind our members that, as of December 1, 2019, our group life insurance plan – renewed annually – is in force. You can now register electronically, after contacting our insurance consultant Marios Pavlidis at 99438340. More details about the plan can be obtained via the “MEMBER OFFERS” link on the updated website of SYKS.
- PASYDY SUMMER HOLIDAY PACKAGES
Regarding this year’s inclusion of SYKS members in the summer vacation packages of PASYDY for 2021, you can obtain more information in our relevant announcement in the “MEMBERS OFFERS” link on the new SYKS website, where you will also find the participation applications.
- SYKS SPORTS ACTIVITIES:
In the context of our sports activities (races), those of our members who are interested in participating may contact the competent member of the board of SYKS, Nikos Gega at 96716660. The sponsor of our association in this field is KAPODISTRIAS Accessories Company, which we warmly thank for its offer.
- CONTRACTED NCOs’ CONTRACTS AFTER COMPULSORY RETIREMENT:
The clause of Regulation 46 of the Contracted NCOs’ Regulations, which provides for the conclusion of 2 three-year employment contracts until the 62rd year of age, was set in force by the Minister of Defence on May 21, 2020. The Minister offered a three-year contract to those Contracted NCOs who reached the 57th year of compulsory retirement and submitted a request for the first three-year employment contract with the same salary. The SYKS disagrees with some provisions of the contract which were not mentioned in the Contracted NCOs’ regulations and has sent a letter to the honorable Minister of Defence after consulting our legal advisers. A meeting with the Defence Minister is expected to discuss the issue.
- COMPLETION OF 400 MONTHS OF SERVICE FOR FULL RETIREMENT:
Many NCOs do not complete 400 months of service within the limit of their compulsory retirement at the age of 57, as a result of which they receive a lower pension. It was proposed to give them the right to remain in service until they complete all 400 months of service for full pension (in a separate reference book where they will not be entitled to promotion) or to be counted as having completed them since before the Troika Memorandum the provision that was in force stated that after 25 years of a staff member’s service, all remaining years of service should count double for retirement purposes.
- REVIEW OF WARRANT OFFICERS’ SALARY SCALES:
Before the voting of the new regulations, Warrant Officers’ salary scales were A8-9-10, while after the rank distinction into Warrant Officer 1, 2, 3 the salary scales were A9, A10, A11 while the Defence Ministry agreed to review them at a later stage. Their review has been pending since 2017. It is noted that, due to this, there is an income gap since today there are 2 categories of Warrant Officers 2, i.e. some Warrant Officers 2 (who were renamed to WO2 in 2017) were in the A10 + 11 salary scales, while some others (those promoted at a later stage) were in the A10 salary scale. SYKS raised the issue to the Defence Ministry and requested the review of salary scales.
- NEW OCCUPATIONAL PENSION PLAN:
The annulment of occupational pension directly affects the Non-Commissioned Officers who have been appointed after 1/10/2011 (including the 8th series of women as volunteers before their permanent tenure in 2017, when they were entitled to occupational pension) as when they retire at the age of 57 they will not receive occupational pension. As a result, until they receive their social insurance pension (reduced by 12%) at the age of 63 (i.e. for 6 years) they will have no income. SYKS, apart from raising the issue in writing to the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Labor, is in contact with PASYDY where the draft of a new occupational pension is being discussed with the Ministry of Finance. The issue has almost been resolved and we will inform you as soon as it is completed. This plan will concern both the public and Contracted NCOs.
- WORKING HOURS REGULATION:
The Regulation on the Armed Forces Working Hours was submitted by the Ministry Defence to the Parliament, as provided by the European Directives. The regulation is expected to be discussed in the Defence Committee with the new Parliamentary composition after the Parliamentary elections of May 30, 2021.
- AMENDMENTS OF REGULATIONS:
Amendments to the regulations in benefit of Non-Commissioned Officers are still pending. The same applies to Contracted NCOs in terms of the consideration of their total years of service in their evaluation in any rank, as is the case with NCOs.
- REVIEW OF RISK BENEFITS:
SYKS has repeatedly raised – in writing – the issue of benefits for those personnel who perform special tasks with increased risk to both the National Guard General Staff (GEEF) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).The issue has not been resolved yet.
Warrant Officer Katerina Markoullidou
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