NEWS

No automatic pay rises for civil servants

Civil servants will not receive automatic promotions and pay rises based on the time they have served in their departments but will be subject to regular reviews and will also have to sit written tests and be interviewed by their superiors and independent experts, according to plans being drawn up by the government.

Sources told Kathimerini that the Interior Ministry is in the process of preparing a draft law that would from next year link civil servants? pay to their performance.

According to the legislation being prepared, employees in the public sector would have to sit written exams every four years. Those with the best marks would then be selected to be interviewed by a panel before a decision is taken on whether to promote them and award them a pay rise. The panel will be made up of senior civil servants as well as members of the Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP) and the Ombudsman.

Under the current system, civil servants qualify for a pay rise every two years that they complete in their department regardless of their productivity.

The reform will be the latest in a series of changes in the public sector. Apart from slashing bonuses and benefits, the government has said that it would only hire one new civil servant for every five that leave or retire. It is also set to announce soon a new across-the-board pay structure for the public sector.

Last month, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis said that a 1981 law allowing public servants to work 37.5 hours a week would be changed so they would work for a minimum of 40 hours to help make up for the staff and spending cutbacks in the sector.

Ragousis told Sunday?s Kathimerini that the extension of bureaucrats? working week by 2.5 hours would be the equivalent of hiring 45,000 new employees in the public sector.