Bulgaria moves to dismiss public servants past pensionable age

Bulgaria’s coalition government approved a number of decisions on December 22 opening the way for the dismissal of employees in various ministries who are reaching retirement age or who have remained employed past the time they should have gone on pension.

The decisions cover a further eight ministries, after last week Bulgaria’s Education Ministry announced that it was terminating the contracts of 25 employees who were past pensionable age.

The sum of money to be spent on the process is not precisely known, because the statement by the government gave details of staff cuts and the sums involved only for three out of the eight ministries, while for four ministries, it set out the sums allocated but not the number of staff affected. In one case, the number of staff affected was stated, but not the sum.

Adding up the stated figures results in a sum of more than 6.24 million leva in benefits to which the departing public servants are entitled by labour law.

The dismissals are part of a plan by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Assen Vassilev, co-leader of the We Continue the Change party, to reduce Bulgaria’s public administration by 30 000 employees within a year.

The December 22 decision provides for 107 employees of the Ministry of Transport to be dismissed, with a budget of 1.2 million leva to enable this.

At the Energy Ministry, 24 staff will be dismissed, costing an estimated 224 000 leva, while at the Economy Ministry, 26 staff will go, costing an estimated 630 000 leva.

There will be further restructuring of the Economy Ministry, which under the new government coalition agreement is divided into an Economy Ministry, and a Ministry of Innovation and Growth.

At the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, 14 staff will be dismissed, with no budget stated.

Other sums allocated go to the Agriculture Ministry, 3.4 million leva, the Ministry of Environment and Water, 600 000 leva, the Sports Ministry, 104 037 leva, and the Culture Ministry, 80 749 leva.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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