Ukraine pays pub­lic ser­vants ridicu­lously pal­try salaries

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - News - By ro­

Who­ever takes over from Econ­omy Min­is­ter Ai­varas Abro­mavi­cius, who re­signed on Feb. 3, won’t be do­ing it for the money. The min­is­ter earned just Hr 5,542 ($209) in Fe­bru­ary, ac­cord­ing to a re­port ap­pear­ing on Ukrainian news web­site Ukrain­ska Pravda on March 14. Most of it (Hr 4,524, or $170) was va­ca­tion pay.

The min­is­ter’s full salary is likely closer to the Hr 10,210 ($385) he was paid in Jan­uary. Finance Min­is­ter Natalie Jaresko, an­other for­eign-born tech­no­cratic min­is­ter in the gov­ern­ment, was paid Hr 11,240 ($440) in Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to Ukrain­ska Pravda.

With even less money on of­fer for lower-level gov­ern­ment posts, at­tract­ing hon­est and qual­i­fied staff is a job in it­self for Ukrainian min­istries, agen­cies, and state en­ter­prises. While these bod­ies say they pub­lish va­can­cies on their web­sites, there is not much there to en­cour­age job seek­ers: The Agri­cul­ture Min­istry’s va­can­cies sec­tion is blank; there are two jobs open on the Jus­tice Min­istry’s web­site; and the De­fense Min­istry’s web­site has eight va­can­cies, with monthly salaries rang­ing from Hr 2,360 ($89) to Hr 4,376 ($165). The Econ­omy Min­istry lists sev­eral jobs with de­tailed de­scrip­tions, but no salary in­for­ma­tion.

More­over, peo­ple seek­ing a job in gov­ern­ment will be re­quired to go through a com­pet­i­tive se­lec­tion process af­ter the new civil ser­vice law comes into force in May, and in fact, many gov­ern­ment agen­cies have al­ready in­sti­tuted a com­pet­i­tive hir­ing

sys­tem. New strate­gies The low wages for se­nior po­si­tions, com­bined with low pub­lic aware­ness of gov­ern­ment job open­ings, has led sev­eral agen­cies to adopt new strate­gies for at­tract­ing em­ploy­ees.

State de­fense en­ter­prise Ukroboron­prom, which over­sees 99 man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies, says it pub­lishes all va­can­cies for po­si­tions as head of its en­ter­prises on its web­site. In ad­di­tion, Ukroboron­prom has cre­ated a staffing re­serve data­base, to which job seek­ers can sub­mit their re­sume so that they can be con­tacted.

As with some other gov­ern­ment agen­cies, Ukroboron­prom has adopted a com­pet­i­tive hir­ing sys­tem ahead of the new civil ser­vice law com­ing into force, its di­rec­tor Ro­man Ro­manov says. “We an­nounce on the web­site when a chief’s con­tract ex­pires at a plant, so please – come and take part in the com­pe­ti­tion,” he says on Ukroboron­prom’s elec­tronic job ap­pli­ca­tion form.

Ac­cord­ing to Ro­manov, Ukroboron­prom has hired 15 direc­tors for its en­ter­prises un­der the new sys­tem, and 13 of them have man­aged to make their plants prof­itable. “My pri­mary in­ter­est is in your pro­duc­tiv­ity – to place the best man­ager in the po­si­tion,” Ro­manov said on Feb. 11.

Out­sourced re­cruit­ing While state en­ter­prises like Ukroboron­prom may of­fer can­di­dates higher wages and less pa­per­work, gov­ern­ment bod­ies have a harder sell. To cast their net wider for po­ten­tial job can­di­dates, some min­istries and state agen­cies are put­sourc­ing their re­cruit­ing.

Iryna Bryt­ska, a re­search spe­cial­ist at Head­hunter (hh. ua), a lead­ing Ukrainian job web­site, said her or­ga­ni­za­tion is happy to co­op­er­ate with gov­ern­ment. “We gladly placed their va­can­cies for free last year, so help­ing to at­tract em­ploy­ees to their po­si­tions,” she said. Head­hunter also has an agree­ment this year with the State Em­ploy­ment Ser­vice to place its va­can­cies on the web­site free of charge.

The min­istries came to Head­hunter with the re­quest to list va­can­cies, Bryt­ska said. For or­di­nary clients, the web­site would usu­ally charge Hr 120 per va­cancy. Head­hunter also of­fers its data­base of re­sumes for Hr 45,000. Those who buy it can then post va­can­cies free of charge.

So far, the web­site fea­tures only one po­si­tion in a min­istry – chief of staff at the Agri­cul­ture Min­istry. There is no High de­mand Nev­er­the­less, Bryt­ska said that in­ter­est in jobs in the state sec­tor is high, es­pe­cially for posts such as head of depart­ment or head of a direc­torate. One va­cancy at­tracted 500 re­sponses. “At the mo­ment (the state sec­tor) is quite pres­ti­gious and promis­ing,” Bryt­ska said, a change in at­ti­tude since the Euromaidan Rev­o­lu­tion top­pled the for­mer gov­ern­ment two years ago.

Bryt­ska doesn’t see low salaries at state en­ter­prises as an ob­sta­cle for em­ploy­ers. “Many hope that in­vest­ment will come here. They’re quite will­ing to go to the state sec­tor, be­cause they ex­pect sta­bil­ity,” she said.

Also, a group of Ukrainian alumni of West­ern uni­ver­si­ties has launched the Pro­fes­sional Gov­ern­ment Ini­tia­tive to help au­thor­i­ties match ed­u­cated Ukraini­ans with gov­ern­ment bod­ies in need of pro­fes­sion­als.

Since March 2014, the ini­tia­tive has brought 32 civil ser­vants to var­i­ous min­istries and state en­ter­prises. To

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