After nearly eight years of economic crisis, with dramatic repercussions at all levels, there are still politicians and trade unionists who refuse to accept their responsibilities for the country’s demise. Especially public sector and DEKO utilities unionists appear to be living in their own parallel universe.
An indicative example is the refusal of the huge public sector umbrella union ADEDY to accept performance evaluations of public servants, and its urging evaluators and employees to boycott the process. Though everyone – including public servants – knows that the civil service is ailing, and that its modernisation is one of the most important preconditions for the country’s reconstruction, the leadership of ADEDY insists on self-interested comfort and old, anachronistic habits.
They do not understand that with these methods and practices, they are not defending civil servants who truly respect their work and citizens, but rather benefit and give asylum to those who tend to their own comfort, with well-known methods, in one position, and thereafter are interested only in when they will retire and receive a pension.
To be honest, the practices of ADEDY unionist were supported by today’s SYRIZA government and its ministers. Now, those practices are an impediment, as the government rushes to meet its commitments in order to complete the bailout evaluation.
Evaluations were and are a means for ministers and government cadres to bring civil servants closer, by raising the prospect of layoffs. Excellence, rewards, the assignment of responsibility based on knowledge and qualifications – and not on party affiliation – was never of particular importance to SYRIZA.
Now that they are required to enforce even a modicum of meritocracy and carry out evaluations, it is only because Greece’s partners and creditors are forcing them to do so.
For this reason, when they pledge to continue reforms and necessary changes in the post-bailout era, no one believes them.