NEWS

Lack of data delays labor plan

Ahead of an imminent second wave of staff reductions in the public sector, it appears that local and central government departments are still reluctant to provide details of civil servants? pension credits, thereby holding up the process.

Kathimerini understands that only one in three departments has supplied information about how close to retirement its employees are. Even the Finance Ministry, which has urged other parts of the civil service to meet tight deadlines, has been slow in producing the data. Only 213 of 325 municipalities have so far provided details about their employees.

The process has been complicated by hundreds of public sector workers submitting their retirement papers in a bid to avoid being inducted into the labor reserve program, which would mean that they would receive 60 percent of their salary for a year before being liable for redundancy. Unionists have condemned the scheme as a roundabout way of sacking public sector employees.

Just over 4,200 civil servants have opted for early retirement over the last few weeks rather than wait to be put in the labor reserve. At municipalities, 620 employees have recently opted to begin picking up their pension checks.

Kathimerini has learned that a second wave of around 19,000 civil servants are to be pushed into early retirement or a labor reserve scheme on heavily docked wages from January 1.

The public servants in question are all on open-ended contracts and employed in ministries, state-backed bodies and other parts of the broader civil service.

Of the 19,000, around 12,000 are close to retirement — having completed 33 years of service — and another 7,000 are employed in state bodies which are slated for closure or merging with other organizations.

Last week, authorities began transferring some 14,000 civil servants, who are either close to or at retirement age, into the labor reserve.

The process is being coordinated by the Administrative Reform Ministry.