Union calls for occupation of town halls as mayors defying evaluation are probed

As Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani ordered a preliminary investigation into five mayors who are refusing to cooperate with the government over civil service evaluations on Monday, the union representing local authority workers, POE-OTA, called on employees to occupy city and town halls in protest at the proposed reform.

Koutzamani has asked prosecutors to examine whether the five local officials – Halandri’s Simos Roussos, Zografou’s Tina Kafatsaki, Nikaia-Rendi’s Giorgos Ioakimidis, Larissa’s Apostolos Kalogiannis and Patra’s Costas Peletidis – have committed a breach of duty by not providing their employees’ details to the Administrative Reform Ministry so that the evaluations cannot be carried out.

The government denies that the assessment of civil servants’ performances will lead to job losses. But the mayors argue that the government is using the evaluation as a way to fire more employees, leaving some municipal services in danger. POE-OTA on Monday declared September 30 “local authority day” and called on staff to walk off the job from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in protest at the evaluation scheme, which forms part of a broader plan for public sector streamlining demanded by the troika.

POE-OTA is urging its members to resist demands by central government for local authorities to allow state inspectors access to their premises to obtain the data necessary to review thousands of employment contracts.

The government believes that several thousand contracts that were upgraded from fixed-term to permanent in 2006 were done so illegally.

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