In an effort to further reduce operational expenses and renew its workforce, Cyta has implemented another voluntary employee exit plan, targeting individuals who meet specific conditions. The plan has been in effect since May 1st and marks the fifth initiative introduced by the semi-governmental organization since the 2013 economic crisis. Based on the provisions of the voluntary exit plan, the total number of employees in the organization will decrease from 1,600 to 1,200, a hundred more than initially projected in the related study. The voluntary exit plan allows for 219 departures, but the interest generated after its announcement was higher than expected. Out of the 407 applications submitted, 380 were ultimately approved, and some applicants have already left the company as of June 1st. The voluntary exit plan is expected to be completed with 380 departures within 12 months from the start of the resignations (April 30th, 2024). The application process began on February 15th, 2023, and concluded on April 8th, 2023.
According to the provisions of the plan, the departure of employees who have applied and been approved will take place on a monthly basis, taking into account the organization's operational needs. However, applicants can indicate their preferred voluntary resignation date. As stated in the internal circular to the organization's staff, "the final date of each employee's departure will be determined in consultation with the relevant departments, taking into account:
- Staffing and functionality issues of the departments.
- The need to exhaust the personnel's annual leave before their departure.
- The Ministry of Finance's decision on the maximum replacement of 25% of the personnel who will depart with the SEAA 2023.
The organization retains the right to change the departure date up to 12 months. Additionally, the organization reserves the right to reject applications, considering Cyta's needs and the available budget. As clearly stipulated in the plan, voluntary departure requests will not be approved for employees who have been "promoted to vacant positions during the 12-month period preceding the requested departure."
Monthly employees of Cyta who, at the announcement date of the plan (15/02/2023), had completed at least 20 years of actual service in the organization, had the right to submit applications for the voluntary retirement plan. Additionally, they had more than 12 months of remaining service before the regular retirement date. The fifth voluntary retirement plan is considered the best one offered by Cyta, according to Elias Dimitriou of EPOET-SEK.
In the financial aspect of the voluntary retirement plan, the maximum compensation to be paid will amount to 180,000 euros and will depend on the remaining months of service for each employee. The plan provides two examples with a monthly salary plus an indexation allowance plus the 13th salary, totaling 3,630.91 euros. With 80 remaining months of service until reaching the age of 65, the compensation amounts to 97,221.25 euros (3,630.91 x 80 remaining months x 33.47% = 97,221.25 euros). In addition to the compensation, a grade subsidy ranging from 5% to 40% will be granted. Therefore, for the same salary amount and the remaining months of service, the compensation will increase from 97,221.25 euros to 136,115.56 euros (3,360.91 x 80 remaining months x 46.86% = 136,115.56). As clearly stated, the total compensation cannot exceed 75% of the remaining earnings that the applicant would have received until their normal retirement date. The remaining earnings include the remaining salaries after taxation, minus the lump sum difference, and minus the additional pension, after taxation, for the period until the normal retirement date.
As with previous voluntary retirement plans, the amount received by each participating employee whose participation in the plan has been approved will be tax-exempt. Additionally, the plan includes provisions for eligible applicants who have suffered wage losses during the frozen period of 2012-2016 (meaning they were separated before 2011 and had not exhausted their personal exemption scale by 2013). They will be granted an additional subsidy of €15,000, in addition to the above-mentioned compensation. The amount of the subsidy will not be subject to the 75% limit of remaining wages and will be given in proportion so that the total compensation does not exceed 100% of the remaining earnings and the maximum amount of €180,000.
"The public nature is safeguarded"
The new voluntary retirement plan in no way affects the employment status of those hired subsequently, reassures Elias Dimitriou of EPOET SEK. As a guest on "Diaporas Eidiseon" on SPORT FM, Mr. Dimitriou assured that the public nature of those working in the organization is safeguarded. According to an agreement between trade unions and management, the employment status under public law will continue to cover 60% of Cyta employees, while the remaining 40% will be under private law, mainly concerning employees of retail stores within the organization and customer service technicians. Commenting on the new plan, Mr. Dimitriou stated that the reduction in staff should have been implemented years ago based on an existing study. Regarding the employees who expressed interest, they have over 25 years of experience in the organization.
[This article was first published in Kathimerini's printed edition of Oikonomiki and translated from its Greek original]