Gov’t drafts bill of­fer­ing civil ser­vice wages, jobs

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A draft billthat has been sub­mit­ted to Par­lia­ment by the gov­ern­ment paves the way for wage in­creases for cer­tain lo­cal author­ity work­ers by of­fer­ing a range of ben­e­fits, as well as guar­an­tee­ing job se­cu­rity for cur­rent em­ploy­ees and even fore­see­ing new hir­ings.

Osten­si­bly in­tended to reg­u­late the sit­u­a­tion with lo­cal author­ity work­ers, thou­sands of whom have been em­ployed on re­new­able short-term con­tracts for years, the bill is ap­par­ently de­signed to ap­pease them fol­low­ing a se­ries of re­cent protests, most no­tably pro­tracted strike ac­tion by garbage col­lec­tors last month.

What re­mains un­clear is how much the mea­sures are likely to bur­den the state bud­get and whether the coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional cred­i­tors ap­prove of them – or are even aware of them.

The bill, which is to be de­bated in Par­lia­ment next week, fore­sees an in­crease in wages to cer­tain sec­tors in­clud­ing em­ploy­ees cat­e­go­rized as work­ing in haz­ardous jobs, such as garbage col­lec­tors, but also to those em­ployed in less phys­i­cally de­mand­ing jobs such as mu­si­cians in mu­nic­i­pal bands and or­ches­tras.

One of the pro­posed changes likely to pro­voke the con­cern of for­eign au­di­tors is the restora­tion of a stipend for deputy may­ors and other mid­dle-rank­ing mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials to cover their travel costs and other ex­penses.

Another pro­vi­sion tacked onto the bill al­lows those with debts to lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to re­pay their dues in up to 100 in­stal­ments.

The pro­posed re­form comes as cred­i­tors main­tain pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment to en­force a so-called mo­bil­ity sys­tem in the civil ser­vice – aimed at mov­ing work­ers out of over­staffed or re­dun­dant ser­vices into un­der­staffed ar­eas – and com­plet­ing a long-de­layed eval­u­a­tion of Greek pub­lic sec­tor work­ers.

In line with the com­mit­ments of the left­ist-led gov­ern­ment to the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, the as­sess­ment of Greece’s civil ser­vants should have been com­pleted at the end of last month.

In fact the whole process has been stymied be­cause most min­istries and state agen­cies have yet to sub­mit their re­ports to the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­form Min­istry, a stance that la­bor unions ADEDY and POEOTA have en­cour­aged.

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