ATHENS – Despite government assurances workers won’t be fired for failing evaluations, public employee unions are planning strikes against the plan.
The country’s civil servants’ union ADEDY said it will press works stoppages in protest at a scheme demanded by international lenders to weed out bad workers.
ADEDY said it was determined to go ahead even though a court ruled against its appeal for a second time, directing that the government can proceed with plans for evaluations of workers.
Following last month’s court ruling, which found a protracted civil servants’ strike against the evaluation scheme to be illegal and abusive, the new decision rejected the strike for technical reasons, saying it must be called by ADEDY’s general council, not by its general assembly, as was the case.
ADEDY, reacting to the ruling, said it would convene a session of its general council on August 21 and set in motion more strikes and protests.
The union wasn’t satisfied with guarantees workers who failed evaluations would be given other positions and retrained and wouldn’t be fired even if they were incompetent.
Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras’ coalition partner, the PASOK Socialists, don’t wany anyone fired, reversing course from previously supporting worker layoffs demanded by the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).
Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos, from the Conservatives, backed away from his directive that 15 percent of all workers would have to be declared failing, even if they weren’t, so he could reduce the numbers in the work force.
Under PASOK pressure, he changed that to declare public sector workers are not in danger of losing their job or suffering a wage cut if they are found to be under-performing.
Mitsotakis said civil servants with poor results would be offered extra training or could be moved to different positions.
“Someone deemed inadequate will not be stigmatized,” Mitsotakis told lawmakers. “If someone is not doing their job properly they will have to be told and be offered ways to improve.”
That satisfied PASOK parliamentary representative Panayiotis Rigas but he also asked for other changes, including that if a civil servant performs better in this year’s evaluation than last year, when a transitional scheme was in place, the higher result should count for both years.
The major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) remained opposed to Mitsotakis’s proposals. The Leftists argued that the evaluation process was designed to provide candidates that would be suitable for sacking in the future. Greece has to fire another 6,500 public sector workers by the end of the year.