Public sector employees collect their wages at a bank in Erbil in April after Baghdad began sending funds to Erbil to cover the government payroll. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Short term contract employees working for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will become permanent civil servants from 2019.
Parwin Mohammed, in charge of budget in the Finance Ministry, told Rudaw that the ministry put the plan into the 2019 budget.
Pointing out that the employees have already been working for the government on a contract basis, Mohammed said switching them to permanent status “won’t create a burden for the KRG.”
The KRG slashed public sector salaries and delayed wage payments under a salary-saving scheme introduced during the economic crisis. After teachers led protests about their wage cuts, Erbil negotiated with Baghdad to reinstate some payments from the central government that was used to pay salaries.
The government has recently begun releasing budget funds to its ministries as it emerges from the financial crisis, but still has not detailed how they plan to pay to employees the wages withheld under the austerity measure.
The KRG also weeded out its bloated payroll, clearing so-called ghost employees and those receiving two pay cheques.
Per rules and regulations from the Finance Ministry, temporary employees should become permanent after three years of service, but this process was delayed during the economic crisis.
The move to permanency will affect an estimated 31,000 employees on short term contracts. Nearly half of them, 47 percent, work at the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism. Some 19 percent are at the education ministry and five percent at the health ministry.