Cyprus Mail

Sudoku civil servant ‘wanted to have his cake and eat it’, public admin says

The department of public administration and personnel on Sunday hit back at an article in Phileleftheros a day earlier about a civil servant on €5,000 a month who complained by open letter to the president that he was playing Sudoku all day to kill time.

A written statement from the department said it was regrettable that the public servant had chosen to air his grievances in such a public manner “unduly affecting the image of the public service”.

Government employee Sotiris Hadjioannou, a lecturer in electronics was assigned in 2010 to work at the labour inspection department.

Despite being on an A12+2 pay scale, with a monthly income of more than €5,000 he claims he wa not been assigned any specific duties.

“In 2014 I was given some insignificant duties not commensurate with my salary and qualifications. One of my main duties is to measure the height of railings. Bearing in mind the administrative cost of hiring me… my total contribution is below zero,” the letter said.

But the department said in its statement on Sunday that Hadjioannou used to work at the Higher Technical Institute (HTI) before it was shuttered and its functions transferred to the University of Technology (TEPAK).

At the time HTI staff were given a choice to either move to TEPAK or join the public service elsewhere. Hadjioannou, it said, chose the latter and was transferred to the labour inspection department.

There, he received the relevant training but constantly complained that the work was beneath his qualifications and kept insisting he be moved to TEPAK as a lecturer “while keeping his status as a public servant” ie the salary and benefits.

“It was repeatedly explained to this staff member that aside from the absence of a legislative framework allowing such a move, why should it be possible for him to have preferential treatment over his former colleagues who chose to join TEPAK from the outset and lost their public service status?” the department said.

“In any case, because of the general behavior and attitude of this member of staff a disciplinary investigation is pending against him,” it added.

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