Cyprus Mail

CyTA voluntary redundancy scheme remains under the microscope

CyTA chairman Aristos Riris has sought to address the House Finance committee’s concerns over perceived excessive compensation offered to voluntarily exiting employees, while the semi-state authority wants to hire 50 employees despite the hiring freeze in the public sector.
In a letter to the committee dated Monday which was examined yesterday too, Riris referred to the company’s revised voluntary exit scheme, which is part of its three-year restructuring plan. The latest scheme had compensation offered to exiting employees cut by 5 per cent, and a maximum payout of €125,000, following the committee’s refusal to approve its previous version as it had considered the amounts offered excessive.
Riris argued that despite the publicised inflated figures, the average compensation package was €71,812 and stressed the importance of a statistic termed ‘Value to Employee’ as a critical criterion in the scheme’s attractiveness to personnel. The average value to employee, Riris said, was 57 per cent and exceeded 100 per cent only in three cases.
Under the scheme, staff eligible to apply for early exit are limited to those employed for a minimum of ten years.
CyTA, Riris said, stands to gain a total of €215 million over the next three years under its restructuring plan as a result of reducing payroll – by a total of 550 employees – and overheads.
Meanwhile, CyTA had been asked to explain why it asked to be allowed to hire 50 new personnel while trying to pay employees to leave. This, Riris argued, is a result of “technology changing daily”.
“The need for 15 engineers and 35 technicians will arise regardless of the progress of the voluntary exit scheme,” Riris’ letter said.
The positions had been procured by CyTA in 2011, but the process was abandoned after the government imposed a hiring freeze in an effort to rein in public spending.
Riris told the committee that the services in which hiring is required are mostly staffed by personnel aged over 50, possessing high-school qualifications. Following 30 years of service, he said, these people continue to work conscientiously but, despite their best efforts, fail to keep up with technological advancements.
As most of the employees leaving will come from these fields, replacing them with staff on fixed term contracts will offer greater savings to the organisation, Riris argued.
“In technological organisations like CyTA, where technology advances by the day, strengthening its human resources with technologically proficient personnel is a matter of survival,” he said.

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