First 2,000 civil servants face chop

Department heads given 5 days to draft list of staff joining redundancy scheme

The government got started with controversial plans to reduce the bloated public sector on Tuesday, putting the first 2,000 civil servants on a redundancy scheme.

A circular issued by the Administrative Reform Ministry set out the regulatory framework of a plan to put the employees on 75 percent of their salaries for a year ahead of their redundancy and to transfer many from redundant or overstaffed state organizations to vital public services that are understaffed.

Staff currently employed in such important services, which include hospitals, social insurance bodies and the Manpower Organization (OAED), will not be included in the redundancy scheme, according to the circular. Also to be excluded are employees whose spouses have already taken early retirement, whose spouse or child has more than 67 percent disability, who are disabled themselves, who have more than three children or who are single parents.

Civil servants who are currently being prosecuted for severe disciplinary offenses will be included in the measure, Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis said, noting that only “a few hundred” of the country’s 600,000 or so civil servants fall into this category.

Department heads at the state organizations affected by the redundancy scheme have been given five days to draft lists of the employees that will be included. If they fail to do so, they will face a fine equal to a quarter of the salaries of the total number of staff destined for induction into the redundancy scheme.