The number of public sector employees has been reduced by 26 percent in the past five years, since the onset of the economic crisis in Greece.
Salary reduction, changes in pension laws, employee transfers and voluntary resignations have led to 234,857 employees leaving the public sector. As a result, at the end of November 2015, the total number of public sector employees was 630,296. At the end of 2009, the number of civil servants was 856,153.
The number of employees who left includes contract personnel whose contracts were not renewed, temporary personnel and seasonal workers.
Ministry employees were reduced by 125,819, reaching a total 567,095 at the end of November 2015. Temporary staff were 63,201 at the end of November, slightly less than the 62,580 employees at the end of 2014.
The number of personnel in local governments showed a slight increase, reaching 82,564 people at the end of November, when at year-end in 2014 they were 81,810.
The decrease in staff will help the evaluation of Greece’s bailout program as creditors actually want to see further reductions in the number of public sector employees. Lenders have suggested that the Greek public sector should be more flexible and productive.
The ministry of labor will be hiring 20,000 civil servants to fill positions where there is need, additionally, new pay scales will be established in January.
Creditors have suggested a new hiring policy according to which there should be one hiring for every five retirements. The total payroll will be subject to negotiation in conjunction with the preparation of the new medium-term financial plan up until 2019.