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Public sector memorandum until 2018

16/10/2015 10:15
The Cypriot government will continue to implement its memorandum restrictions on hirings until 2018, according to the Ministry of Finance, despite the achievement of key numerical targets set by the Troika in 2012.

According to a report released by the ministry yesterday, the government intends to achieve its budgetary objectives for the next three years, keeping the number of public workers at 2015 reduced levels and having already agreed to grant salary increases from 2017.

The budget deficit is projected to reach 0.9% of GDP in 2015 and fall to -0.1% in 2016. A surplus of 0.5% is expected in 2017 and 1.1% in 2018.

Despite improvement in fiscal indicators, which will contribute to the reduction of debt to below 100% of GDP, the ministry intends to maintain restrictions on recruitments.

Specifically, the government seeks the continuation of the ban on filling vacant positions of first appointment and vacancies of hourly paid government staff in the general government and the broader public sector.

The ban has been lifted recently, in some cases, for staff with specific specializations.

The government also notes that it will continue to suspend the application of the memorandum term regarding "one recruitment for every four retirements of civil servants” by not recruiting new staff.

It will freeze hiring hourly paid staff and will immediately apply mobility within and between ministries and other government agencies.

The government will also continue to suspend the application of the memorandum term regarding "one recruitment for every five retirements of hourly paid staff" with a few exceptions, in order to cover needs such as services of the ministry of health and special schools in education.

Moreover, additional permanent positions will continue not being created and there will not be any update of salary scales on a personal basis, for neither the employee nor the hourly paid staff positions in general government and the broader public sector, with a few exceptions which will be approved by the Minister of Finance.

The employment of non-permanent staff (employees of indefinite time, fixed-term employees and temporary employees on a fortnight basis) in 2016 is maintained at maximum at 2015 levels.

The government will also prevent replacement of staff leaving the service for any reason, with only a few exceptions, to cover needs such as the investigative committee on missing persons, the prisons department, social welfare services, education and departments and services of the ministry of health.

The level of employment of seasonal hourly paid government staff will also be maintained at 2015 levels.

Since 2013, 1600 positions in the public sector have been eliminated and another 306 will be eliminated in 2016.

The number of general government employees has decreased by 4236 persons compared to 4500 which is the memorandum target, falling from 52 267 employees as of 1/1/2012 to 48.031 employees as of 30/06/2015.

Although the ministry is committed to continue its conservative policy on hiring issues, it has pledged to grant salary increases to civil servants from 2017.

In cases of promotions, increases will start from 2016. As noted in the report, "a law regulation is promoted, which provides that officials promoted from 20/06/2014 will receive promotion payroll from 01.01.2016 instead of 01.01.2017 under the existing legislation ".