As president I would implement productivity rewards that could substantially benefit all our public sector employees. Without them the government could not function. Worse, if hypothetically speaking they were all replaced by highly intelligent robots, the Cyprus economy would collapse because these c80,000 public sector workers directly or indirectly contribute to supporting up to one quarter of Cyprus’ families.
I will honour their rights to inflation-proof salary increases and jobs for life with some exceptions. If the public sector is run like a large commercial organisation, Cyprus and customer service will be transformed. Therefore, opportunities to earn bonuses and other perks will apply:
- I propose the top-performing citizen-facing public sector workers (and their supervisors and managers) will receive bonuses based on anonymous marks that they will get via email and SMS from citizens following a visit, phone call, or email. Customer ‘happiness’ training will be given.
- I propose a confidential portal that will allow every public sector employee of any grade to contribute ideas to improve efficiency and save costs anywhere, not just in their departments. One-time bonuses of between €100 and €25,000 will be paid for the best ideas that get implemented. The highest awards will be checked abroad, perhaps in Greece, to avoid corruption or conflicts of interest. A similar scheme will apply to members of the public; however, the one used by the public sector will get a 90-day head start, with the highest award being €25,000 instead of €10,000. As president I will personally give two €2,000 rewards out of my own pocket to the winners of (a) the most stupid procedure they are forced to follow, and (b) the most stupid form members of the public must use regardless whether paper or digital.
- I propose that the top 10% performing public sector employees will receive a one-off annual bonus subject to the bottom 5% getting no pay rise at all.
- I propose as a one-off opportunity, after the changes listed in the manifesto pledge ‘Transforming the public sector in consultation with their unions’ have been implemented, bonuses will be paid across departments.
- To increase productivity, I personally have no objection to selected public sector employees working from home on a rota system if they volunteer to do so. This will be conditional on random checks and technology monitoring tools being installed on government-supplied devices for junior grades. Local management will make the decisions informally. It will not be enshrined as a permanent right.
In return, I will propose implementing the following changes with the unions, as found in many large commercial organisations internationally:
- Once a year, every public sector employee at all levels should undergo a special type of 360° appraisal with specialists. This is an established human resource tool of employee performance review in which subordinates, co-workers, and managers rate each other, mainly anonymously.
- Promotions based on years of service or precedence will end. The best of the best will become supervisors and managers in the future.
- New public sector employees can be fired and replaced within 2 years for any reason.
- An annual cull will take place where the worst performers marked as ‘poor’ 2 years in a row will be let go. They will be given fair severance payments or pensioned off and replaced by new public sector workers.
Summary: I propose that the public sector should be run like a commercial business yet enjoy additional rights. Top performers will get generous pay rises. The worst can eventually be fired. Public sector staff can earn bonuses at departmental and local level based on productivity. Citizen-facing staff will individually earn additional bonuses based on service quality measurement.
By doing all the above, the public sector and customer service to our citizens will be transformed.0