EPSU supports Greek public services workers strike against dismissals

(18 March 2014) Greek public service workers will be out on strike against the collective dismissals imposed by their government under pressure of the Troika 19 and 20 March. EPSU has sent a message of solidarity.
(11 March 2014) EPSU sends its solidarity greetings to the ADEDY civil service confederation which has called a {{24-hour strike}} across the public sector on {{12 March}}, followed by a {{48-hour stoppage on 19-20 March}}. The strike is in protest at the administrative reform bill that is going through parliament. The bill will introduce measures to cut public sector jobs and close or privatise 23 public bodies. It will mean the dismissal of thousands of public sector workers many of whom have already been suspended from their jobs for several months. Between 2008 and the third quarter of 2013 over 100000 jobs (12%) were cut from public administration, health and education in Greece as those leaving their jobs were not replaced. Those who have kept their jobs, and who are expected to maintain public services, have seen their pay cut by over 40%. This new legislation will mean a further, massive round of job cuts. At the same time, as ADEDY points out, unemployment remains the highest in Europe at 27.5% with youth unemployment at 59%. It will also be a blow to the Greek economy that has still yet to register any signs of growth, with GDP shrinking by nearly 4% in 2013. The draft legislation will introduce a system of personnel appraisal which, ADEDY argues, will provide a basis for further dismissals. The system will mean that staff will be graded as “excellent”, “good” or “poor” and there will be set quotas for each category – 25%, 60% and 15% respectively – leaving those at the bottom vulnerable to dismissal. None of these measures have been subject to negotiation or consultation with the trade unions. ADEDY has highlighted the important role that public services play across the economy and is urging citizens and workers from other sectors to support the strike and the demonstration planned for Klathmonos Square in Athens. Public service workers in many European countries are faced with severe cuts in their pay and conditions, with many jobs being axed, and budgets slashed leading to deterioration of services. The strike of our Greek colleagues is symbolic for the ongoing resistance of workers and citizens against the EU's austerity policies. An alternative strategy is needed based on a Social Europe and an [investment plan as proposed by ETUC->http://www.etuc.org/publications/new-path-europe-etuc-plan-investment-sustainable-growth-and-quality-jobs-leaflet].