Cyprus Mail

‘Sudoku playing’ civil servant asks to see minister

Labour minister Zeta Emilianidou

Government employee Sotiris Hadjioannou, who complained last month to President Nicos Anastasiades that he is being paid €5,000 per month to do nothing and would like to be transferred to the University of Technology (TEPAK), has requested to meet the Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou to discuss the issue, reports said on Saturday.

According to daily Simerini, Hadjioannou, a lecturer in electronics assigned in 2010 to work at the labour inspection department, sent another letter to President Anastasiades on Friday informing him that despite his complaints, he still plays Sudoku at work to kill time.

In the letter, published in Simerini, Hadjioannou informs the President that the department of public administration and personnel refuses to deal with and resolve the issue.

Hadjioannou used to work at the Higher Technical Institute (HTI) before it was shuttered and its functions transferred to TEPAK. At the time HTI staff were given the choice to either move to TEPAK or join the public service elsewhere. Hadjioannou chose the latter and was transferred to the labour inspection department.

According to the public administration department, 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 last month after Hadjioannou sent the first letter to Anastasiades.

“It seems it is no problem to them that I’m getting paid according to the A12+2 scale despite that my duties are those of A5. I cost the Cypriot tax payer €5,000 per month,” Hadjioannou reiterated in his second letter. He added that if the work he does was assigned to the private sector it would not cost more than €500.

“It seems it is no problem to them worth investigating, that my main job for three years has been to solve Sudoku,” it said.

He added that even though two jobs for Electrical Engineers were announced by the public administration department, and which were later frozen, he was not assigned Electrical Engineer duties.

“I wrote that for many months I had not lifted a pen for work related matters. Shouldn’t they investigate this to avoid it being repeated by other civil servants? How indifferent are they?” he asked.

He added that upon his request to be given a job at TEPAK on lesser terms, the department “lied that there is no legal framework”.

“I answered to the lie”, he said, as 19 civil servants joined TEPAK on lesser terms. Hadjioannou, Simerini reported, asked to meet with Emilianidou.

Meanwhile the head of the public administration department Kyprοs Kyprianou, was quoted as saying that if Hadjioannou wants to work at TEPAK, he is free to apply whenever there is an opening.

He added that the service cannot give him any duties at the university as it is up to TEPAK to choose its employees.

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