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Protests of transport companies continue, thousands of civil servants expect to be transferred to other departments

27 December 2010 / 18:12:46  GRReporter
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The protests of public transport employees continue. Today they held a car rally from Kodzia Square to the Ministry of Transport. Buses will run intermittently on Wednesday 29 December, as well as on January 3, 5 and 10. It is unclear yet whether the employees of the other public transport companies will strike but it seems that they will not work at the same time. According to information published in the Ethnos newspaper, the possibility is being discussed the public transport to announce a 24-hour strike on the New Year eve.

Meanwhile, the Greek Railways TRENOSE announced the suspension of more than 80 trains on the routes Athens - Halkida - Athens, Thessaloniki - Larissa - Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki - Edessa - Florina - Thessaloniki during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
 
Civil aviation employees are determined not to work on December 29 and 30 although the court declared on Friday their strike illegal. If it does take place it will hamper only domestic flights as air traffic controllers will not be involved. Trade unionists of the federation of societies of civil aviation employees have just submitted their resignations since they failed to agree on the form of the protest against the planned relocation of 480 pilots and mechanics from the former airlines Olympic to the civil aviation.
 
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior is preparing massive displacements of civil servants and new mergers and closures of departments under the Kalikratis program for public administration reform which will enter into force on January 1. According to the Ta Nea newspaper, the Ministry will send within a few days a directive to all state institutions to describe in detail both staff and jobs and the positions the officials are appointed at. The Ministry will request further information on the personnel needs that could be filled by relocating employees, and whether there are more employees than needed in the institutions to be moved to other departments.

This process will describe the various public offices and decisions will be made on whether they are needed or not. It is estimated that there are dozens of ‘dead’ departments that have no longer employees but only managers because of lack of activity.   

A White Paper to reform the state is being prepared the purpose of which is to form a central state government. It will include the formation of new structures in Ministries and administrations and the staff allocation after the inventory of public buildings. Databases for staff and offices will be set up and a cycle of compulsory displacements will begin which will take into consideration the lack of staff in some offices as well as the permitted number of appointments and removals possible to be made. Their number will be determined on the base of the formula recommended by the Troika, i.e. one appointment for every five leaves of employees, and relocations in the narrow public sector will be considered appointments.

The number of employees is much greater than the required number whether it is about the narrow public sector or about state enterprises which run recovery plans. They will have to submit applications in the coming months to be moved to offices that lack staff. According to sources from the Ministry of Interior, the basic principle remains not to harm the family life of employees by relocating them to offices located within the areas in which they have lived and worked so far.

The system of assessment and payment of civil servants is planned to be changed later as well as reform of the discipline law in cases of misconduct on their part. Objective and measurable indicators such as the degree of responsiveness to the assignment of a specific task or project will be set as part of the evaluation. Correlation between productivity and pay will also be provided.

At the same time, the threat of dismissal is hanging over 4500 employees working in 75 departments and offices that are to be closed. According to the directive of the Ministry, their employees have to submit applications by January 10, stating the service they want to be transferred to. Otherwise, their contracts will expire and they will be fired. The provision on the employees’ new assignments is similar. They should appear within 15 days from the announcement of the decision to move and if they do not do this they will also be dismissed.

The Institute for Immigration Policy, 51 local centres for agricultural development, the Association of Greek Milk Industries and commercial companies with limited liability are among those which will be merged with others or will be closed.

Tags: PoliticsEconomyPublic transportStrikeCivil servants
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