NEWS

Minister vows to proceed with civil servant evaluation after court ruling

An Athens court of first instance on Thursday deemed illegal and abusive a decision by the ADEDY civil servants’ union to prevent its members from taking part in an evaluation process, prompting the government to underline its determination to complete the assessment.

“There is no longer any excuse,” said Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “This needs to be taken on board by everyone, both those who are opposed to the checks and evaluation as well as those who are their political protectors.”

Thursday’s verdict was the fourth to uphold the government’s efforts to carry out the evaluation and bars ADEDY from holding further action on this issue. The government aims for the evaluation process to lead to 15 percent of civil servants being retrained or moved and for assessors to root out those who have used forged degrees and other qualifications to get their jobs.

“We have to agree on the self-evident: It is clear that everyone has to be evaluated,” said Mitsotakis. “It is also evident that anyone who got a job in the public sector illegally has to be dismissed. The checks for forged certificates and on contracts that were made permanent without the necessary criteria being fulfilled will be stepped up.”

The minister, however, has encountered resistance from 19 mayors, many of whom are affiliated to SYRIZA. They have so far refused to provide the details of thousands of local authority employees who in 2006 had their fixed-term contracts made permanent by the then New Democracy government. It is expected that Attica Governor Rena Dourou will also refuse to cooperate. The mayors fear that the checks will lead to sackings and municipalities being left shortstaffed.

“We think the rechecking of permanent contracts is an excuse for Mr Mitsotakis to find the number of employees he has to fire,” said Nea Ionia Mayor Iraklis Gotsis.

“Why do there need to be more checks 10 years later?” asked Aegaleo Mayor Dimitris Birbas. “Unless of course they are trying to change the criteria as the government is doing.”

Birbas said that 85 percent of the employees at the municipality’s nursery schools fall into the category of those whose contracts were made permanent. “These schools cannot stop operating,” he told Kathimerini.