NEWS

New public sector pay structure to save 1bn a year

Greece intends to save 1 billion euros a year by reducing the salaries of some 100,000 of its civil servants by as much as 40 percent, according to plans the government is discussing with representatives from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Sources told Kathimerini that the draft version of the unified pay structure, which does away with the variances between ministries and the host of supplementary pay packages that currently exits, will lead to 14.5 percent of civil servants, or some 100,000, seeing their salaries cut by at least 25 percent.

According to the scheme, the basic salary in the civil service will be 780 euros gross. It will apply to new hires with just high school education. The top wage, for those with a university degree and a number of years in the job, will be 2,200 euros. Some small bonuses, such as those for postgraduate degrees and for productivity, will be available.

The majority of civil servants, some 546,000, or 78 percent, will not see a major change in their incomes and 7.5 percent, or 52,000, will see their basic pay rise slightly. This is because the current minimum wage in the public sector is 711 euros. It will increase to 780. However, the canceling of supplementary pay deals means that the final difference for most in this group will be small.

The government has calculated that the changes to the pay structure will lead to a 20 percent reduction in spending on civil servants? salaries. This would allow Greece to save 200 million euros this year and 1 billion next year.

The drawing up of a unified pay structure has proved a challenging task for the government, which has shied away from confrontation with public sector workers.

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