Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Education

Judges, teachers highest paid public servants

Teachers out demonstrating for their rights (File photo)

By Angelos Anastasiou

EMPLOYEES on the state payroll number almost 40,000 at an average monthly gross salary of €2,398 as of July 2015, a report issued by the Treasury revealed.

According to the report, which has been prepared for the first time, total employees (permanent and term-contractors) receiving a monthly paycheck from the government total 39,159, and their mean age is 43.

The total payroll tab per month adds up to almost €104 million, not including allowances and the state’s contributions to civil servants’ benefits.

On average, those employed at the Judiciary receive the highest salary, at €5,235, while employees of the security forces are paid the least, taking home a gross €2,287 per month. Teachers get paid €3,267 on average, while civil servants receive a mean average of €2,398.

An interesting finding, noted by the Treasury in the report, was that civil servants and security staff absorb a lower proportion of the payroll expenditure relative to their share in absolute numbers, whereas the opposite is true of teachers and judges.

Specifically, at 17,336, civil servants make up 44.3 per cent of the total, but are paid €41.5 million, or a 40-per-cent chunk of the payroll. Security staff, numbering 9,680 or 24.7 per cent of total employees receiving a government paycheck, receive €22 million per month, or 21 per cent of the total expenditure.

Conversely, the 191 members of the Judiciary, comprising 0.5 per cent of the total public service population, absorb €1 million per month in salaries, or roughly 1 per cent of the total. And 11,952 teachers and other administrative staff in education, or 30.5 per cent of the total, are paid €39 million, or a disproportional 38 per cent of the total budget.

In terms of age, most public-service employees, 63 per cent are in the 20-44 bracket. The mean time to retirement is 21 years.

Data gathered on retirees receiving a state pension revealed a steady increase in absolute numbers since 2011 – from 16,947 to 20,826 in 2015 – with a requisite increase in pensions paid on a monthly basis, from €24.4 million to €29.8 million. In July 2015, some 93 per cent of retirees on a government pension received up to €2,500 per month, with twice as many – 13,395 – in the €1,001-€2,500 bracket as those in the lower one (€0-€1,000) – 5,950.

However, the mean monthly pension during the period from 2011 to 2015 fell from €1,439.45 to €1,432.98.

According to the Treasury’s analysis, the increase was mostly recorded in the years 2013 and 2014, due to mass voluntary retirements, that were in turn the result of the fiscal consolidation measures taken at the time, as well as rumours of impending additional measures like the taxation of the lump-sum benefit received by retiring civil servants.

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