Civil service hiring up again, despite drop in retirements
Public sector growth gained pace last year as the hiring of civil servants increased in contrast to the declining number of retirements, the Public Service Commission said in its annual report, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
The Commission, which is charged with reviewing and assessing hiring and promotions in the public service, said that the previous year saw the opening of job positions that had been frozen since the moratorium imposed after the 2013 financial crisis, gradually bringing the situation in a correct path as far as the public sector needs are concerned.
Problems had emerged concerning the public service as mostly civil service directors and high-earners opted for early retirement to avoid a possible tax on their lump sum retirement allowance. Furthermore, as part of the fiscal consolidation measures, the public service would decline by 4,000 until 2016.
According to the report, job positions reopened in the public service in 2013 and 2014 amounted to just 19 and 126, respectively, and accelerated to 426 in 2015.
PSC Chairman George Papageorgiou, told a press conference that positions unfrozen year to date amounted to 485. The PSC report said the Commission focused on accelerating the rate of hirings in management and middle-management positions aiming to strengthen the operation of the public service because due to the hiring freeze in combination with increased retirements of the previous years, the managerial tasks in the public service were covered with acting directors.
Papageorgiou also said that retirements in the public service show a declining trend. Retirements in 2011 amounted to 562, 980 in 2012 and peaked at 1,000 in 2013, he added. 2014 saw 408 retirements, 2015 had 162, whereas 79 retirements have been recorded in 2016.
Papageorgiou also referred to the proposed public service reform, noting that the reform in the operation of the PSC would constitute significant tools which would assist a more effective exercise of the Commission’s task.