Gov’t divided over how to plug gaps in the civil service

Gov’t divided over how to plug gaps in the civil service

Just a few days after Minister of State Christoforos Vernardakis heralded 10,000 new permanent hirings to the Greek civil service, sources at the Administrative Reform Ministry have ruled out the prospect of staff on short-term contracts being granted permanent status in line with Vernardakis’s pledges.

“There is no way contract workers will become permanent,” a source at the ministry told Kathimerini, highlighting a rift within the government on the controversial issue of public sector staffing. Both sides agree that the state administration’s needs should be met with permanent staff, gradually abolishing the practice of workers on short-term contracts that are perpetually renewed. But they disagree about how this should be achieved.

According to Vernardakis’s plan, which was set out last week, 10,000 contract workers in local authorities – chiefly those working in sanitation, at creches, as guards and at municipal soup kitchens – will have the opportunity to secure permanent status via the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection (ASEP).

Sources at the Administrative Reform Ministry disagree, objecting in principle to contract staff being made permanent and specifically to “closed” competitions via ASEP. The political opposition has accused leftist SYRIZA of trying to boost its waning political influence by offering state jobs.

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