NEWS

Civil servants' union seeks to undermine evaluation, calls general strike

TAGS: Protest, Strike

The umbrella union for Greek civil servants, ADEDY, on Monday renewed its efforts to thwart an ill-fated initiative to evaluate public sector workers, calling on employees and managers to boycott the process, while joining forces with the private sector union GSEE to call a general strike for May 30 to protest austerity. 

At the behest of Greece’s creditors, a series of governments have launched successive half-hearted initiatives to overhaul the civil service.

Every time, the efforts have been undercut by labor unions exhorting employees of state agencies not to submit the assessment forms demanded by the Administrative Reform Ministry and ADEDY. And meetings between ministry officials and unionists have consistently failed to break the deadlock.

Nevertheless Minister Olga Gerovasili expressed her confidence, during an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, that the process would be completed smoothly, adding that she believed a majority of civil servants would participate. A “window for dialogue” with ADEDY remains open, she said.

The process of evaluating last year’s performance of Greek civil servants is set to begin this week and must be completed by June, in line with the government’s bailout commitments.

In a bid to avoid last year’s problems – chiefly a boycott of the process by local authorities – the government is this year conducting the evaluation via an online platform.

The idea is that employees will be less subject to influence by other colleagues or their superiors if they are submitting their assessments online. Municipalities are the key concern – resistance was highest among municipal workers last year – while staff at ministries were more responsive with 70 percent participating.

Meanwhile, both ADEDY and GSEE announced a 24-hour general strike for May 30 to protest ongoing cutbacks by the leftist-led government, which had pledged to roll back austerity before it came to power in January 2015.

The two unions called on other labor groups to join them in what they have dubbed a “social alliance” aimed at stepping up public opposition to ongoing austerity.

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