Ahead of an anticipated evaluation scheme that aims to weed out inadequate public sector workers, a number of civil servants are trying to protect their jobs by improving their educational qualifications, Kathimerini understands.
According to the head of Panteion University?s Public Administration Department, Stavros Perentidis, demand has shot up for the 75 postgraduate courses offered by the institution, mostly from civil servants wanting to earn tertiary degrees that will allow them to score higher on the evaluation point system, which will determine employees? adequacy and position on the new across-the-board pay scale.
At the University of Athens, a distance-learning training program that also means more points for civil servants without university degrees is attracting interest, while at the University of the Peloponnese, the Political Sciences Department has seen a rise in new enrollments, especially from police and other public order officers.
?I am impressed, because they are turning out to be very good students,? department head Manos Papazoglou said. ?Civil servants are a lot more nervous than they were in the past, and there is a lot of uncertainty regarding their jobs in view of the evaluation.?
Meanwhile, according to reports that could not be verified, the team of inspectors from the country?s foreign creditors has sent Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis a letter stressing the need for layoffs in the public sector so that Greece can achieve its fiscal adjustment targets.
The government so far has avoided proceeding with layoffs, opting instead to adopt plans for the reduction in the number of civil servants through the evaluation process, whereby employees that do not make the mark will be put on suspension, and through early retirement for those who are two or three years away from receiving a pension.
The government also plans to save money by introducing horizontal pay cuts and an across-the-board salary structure.
However, according to the sources, the troika — as the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have been dubbed — is convinced that Greece will not be able to reach the level of savings its has committed to making without slashing jobs.