Civil service scheme gets moving

A much-delayed scheme to streamline the country’s bloated civil service by putting thousands of public workers into a labor reserve scheme and moving others from underperforming state bodies to key services is finally getting under way though a wave of early retirements is threatening to undermine its success.

Some 10,000 vacancies have been left in crucial state services – including hospitals and insurance funds – following a rush by thousands of civil servants to seek early retirement and avoid the impact of further austerity measures.

It is expected that the 2,000 civil servants who are to be put on a labor reserve scheme by the end of this year, in line with troika demands, will be the pool from which many of these vacancies will be filled. The first 500 positions are to be announced by the end of the year, with another 1,500 to be advertised by the end of January.

Many of the 2,000 civil servants who have been put on the labor reserve scheme, which puts employees on a reduced wage for a year before a status review, are expected to be transferred to the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), said to be desperately understaffed following the latest rash of early retirements. According to sources, EOPYY has appealed to the Administrative Reform Ministry for an additional 6,000 staff. The police force has also appealed for additional employees, particularly for officers to join the beat.

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