Cyprus Mail

World Bank outlines civil service overhaul

The report prepared by the World Bank is due to be handed over to the finance ministry this week

THE ABOLITION of combined pay-scales and a change in the evaluating system so only a minimal number of workers can be promoted were some of the suggestions made by the World Bank in a report on the restructuring of the public service.

Daily Haravgi reported on Monday what it said were the main recommendations of the report ahead of its presentation to the finance ministry later this week.

The report said that civil servants on low salaries receive larger salaries than their corresponding colleagues in the private sector while the opposite rings true for those on a high pay-grade.

Teachers in the public sector, according to the report, receive 207 per cent more than teachers in the private sector, which is the largest difference between the two sectors. Next are unskilled workers where the difference in salary is 179 per cent and after that retail workers where the gap is 157 per cent. In contrast, managers and senior officials receive salaries 20 per cent lower than the corresponding positions in the private sector.

The main problem, found by the World Bank, is the evaluation system. A new system will need to give little or no importance to seniority while the criteria will need to be set in the ratio 25:70:5. That would mean 25 per cent would be evaluated as below average, 70 per cent would be average and 5 per cent above average.

The World Bank report also states that all pay rises and pay grades need to be abolished and reduced in number. Currently there are between 11 and 13 steps on each pay grade and the reports suggests that number should be reduced to between five and seven and that pay rises should be minimal.

An increase in salary should be limited, according to the report, to the new cost of living allowance (CoLA) and based on whether the employee passes their evaluation.

The World Bank has suggested forming an independent committee which will evaluate every two to three years the difference in salaries between the public and private sectors and will make the necessary suggestion.

According to the report the average salary in the public sector is 27 per cent higher than the private sector. This would mean there could be more pay cuts for civil servants if the World Bank report is implemented.

The report also suggests the introduction of stricter guidelines for newly hired civil servants who must pass a two-year trial period within which they are evaluated every six months.

Very rarely is someone rejected following the two-year trial period the World Bank said.

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