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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Transitional provisions for 2024-2025 promotions are discussed by the Finance Department

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    The law proposal was submitted by MPs of DIKO and EDEK

    The review of the weighting of the criteria for promotion in the public service for the years 2024 and 2025, in order to reduce the weighting of the evaluation that was done for the first time in 2023 with the new evaluation system and to make the transition to the new system smoother, was discussed by Parliamentary Finance Committee on Monday.

    The law proposal was submitted by the MPs of DIKO, Christiana Erotokritou, Panikos Leonidou and Chrysis Pantelidis, of EDEK Ilia Myrianthous and of DIPA, Alekos Tryfonidis and provides for the review of the weight of each selection criterion for promotion to a promotion position in the public service for the years 2024 and 2025 and return to the existing arrangements in the year 2026. The Chairman of the Committee, Member of Parliament of DIKO and one of the proposers of the proposal, Chrysis Pantelidis said that he agrees that the previous evaluation system was bad and rightly it has changed and that the new one is better. But, he noted, there were some problems in its implementation. “So, without changing the philosophy, we are trying to make the implementation smoother through this law proposal,” he said.

    The President of EDY, Giorgos Papageorgiou, said that the implementation of the new evaluation system was an important step forward and we must “preserve it as the apple of our eye”. He agreed in principle to the proposed arrangements. He questioned the fact that the transfer of the percentages that will be subtracted from the weight given to the evaluation will go to the other criteria. He noted that technically this presents a major problem for EDY, which is ready to start the promotion process, as it will incur some cost for the technological modification of the computerized system and also cause a slight delay in starting the promotion process.

    Additionally, he said the reduction in the weighting of the assessment, which under the proposal goes from 45% to 15% by 2024, he said the units that are leaving too much strengthen some other criteria, such as qualifications.

    In addition, he raised the issue of retroactivity, for the regulation to apply from the beginning of 2024, as proposals have already been submitted to fill 400 promotion positions.

    A representative of the Administration and Personnel Department of the Ministry of Finance expressed her concern if, after the entry into force of the law, there will be differences in the scoring in a way that may upset the expectations of employees for promotion. He noted that the employees, based on the criteria, know approximately their chances for promotion and asked for the position of the Legal Service on the matter. Regarding the issue of the amendment coming into force, he said that issues of unequal treatment of persons promoted in the same year may also arise.

    AKEL Member of Parliament Andreas Kavkalias said that the filing of the law proposal is interpreted as a sincere attempt to address the problems created by the implementation of the assessment, noting that if these regulations had existed before, the problems today would certainly be less. “The Parliament is ready to assist in legislative arrangements that must be made to limit the problems”, he noted, adding that the Parliament is lifting a burden that belongs to the Government, which is currently “hiding”, or “wanting time. He expressed his concern about the constitutional and legal aspect of the issue, asking the Government and the Legal Service to position themselves. He also added that there are substantive issues with the system that we need to “come back to”.

    Stratis Matthaiou, Secretary General of PASYDY welcomed the proposed law and emphasized that PASYDY does not wish to return to the old evaluation system. “We want promotions to be done on merit,” he said. However, he said there are admissions about the existing system that “various things have happened” and that “if we don't do something we will have a lot of appeals”. He said he agreed with the substance of the proposal. He expressed his concern about increasing the weighting of qualifications, in terms of technical structures, because someone without a degree, in positions that are not required, will never get promoted, he said, suggesting that the weighting away from evaluation should go to experience for these positions. Finally, he asked the EDY not to proceed with promotions with the new system, before the amendment.

    A representative of ASDYK said that in principle he agrees with PASYDY. He said that there should be a transitional arrangement of 5 years and the previous 5 years should be taken into account with a weightage of 20 per year. He added that by not taking into account the entire career of the employee, problems would arise in court. He also added that the weight of the superiors' recommendation should be reduced, because they are the ones who evaluated the employees. If the rating goes down but the supervisor's recommendation stays, it's the same, he noted.

    A representative of the Pancypriot Equality Union also said that he basically agrees, as the proposal makes the implementation smoother. He raised his concerns about including age as a criterion in case of equality, noting that discrimination and unequal treatment may occur. He also noted that the proposed provision is transitional and said that since there is a problem it must be solved for everyone. “While we agree with the proposal, we do not consider it to be a cure,” he said, noting that the issue does not end there, as the loopholes that lead to the need for the amendment and what has already been reported must be examined.

    From PASYNO, its representative said that there were problems in the implementation of the system, and that is why the modification is very well done to reduce the gravity. However, he noted, since there is an agreement that the 2023 assessment was problematic, it should not be taken into account even from 2026, when according to the proposed amendment the provisions of the existing legislation return.

    DISY Member of Parliament, Haris Georgiadis, asked what the Government's political position is on the matter and whether it agrees with the proposed amendment. He expressed the hope that the problems recorded this year will be temporary and not repeated. He agreed that if the criterion of the supervisor's recommendation is raised disproportionately, it is like undoing the correction effort. He said that the serious error that occurred in some cases is where three members did not work and in practice the evaluation was the judgment of the superior. If the emphasis goes away from the evaluation and goes to the recommendation, “we have done nothing,” he said.

    “We are ready to help, on a clear condition, that the Government that agrees. We do not accept to vote for something that the President of the Republic might reject or the responsibility will be placed on the Parliament for the side effects that will exist, no matter what we do,” he said.

    Dipa Member of Parliament, Alekos Tryfonidis, also one of the speakers, said that it was a sincere effort to make those corrections that mitigate or minimize the problem. He noted that other aspects should be examined, such as the objections committee.

    Dipa Member of Parliament, Marinos Musiouttas, said that legally issues arise if someone who did not object, got a good score and with the differentiation comes to a disadvantageous position, also requesting the position of the Legal Service, “so that we don't have the opposite result”.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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