Greek school guards & municipality policemen with Master’s and PhD

Posted by in Politics, Society

Did you know that there are people with Master’s degree and/or PhD working as municipality policemen or school security guards? I’m sure, you didn’t. Neither did I. But now we both know it. We know it due to the modifications PM Samaras and deputy PM Venizelos did in the bill about the lay-offs in municipalities.

Yes, the two leaders of Greek coalition government decided that after dissolving the municipality police and the school guards system,

“school security guards and municipality policemen with Master’s or PhD may continue to work in the municipalities.”

Samaras and Venizelos decided also that the school guards may start “social entrepreneurship” (social cooperatives) and guard the schools the government decided they needed no guards.

Crazy? Not at all.

I remember writing not very long ago about the social cooperatives that will run -most of- the municipalities  social services like kindergartens, aid programs for seniors etc.

I wrote the relevant post last February on the occasion of a municipality unions strike.

The scheme of “social cooperatives” has been agreed between the Greek government and its lenders – the Troika.

Social cooperatives: Municipalities will cancel the social services (“Help at Home”, municipality kindergartens, music schools). The main principle is that these services will be offered and managed by social cooperatives, that is by ‘cooperatives’ established in the context of ‘social business scheme’, according to which jobless (ex) municipality workers will be the shareholders.

Funding: start capital to be given by the municipality. Private funding by ‘rich residents’ possible.

Earnings: Cooperative shareholders get paid only if they are also workers at the cooperative.

Earnings distribution:

5% goes to funding reserve.

35% goes to workers.

60% goes to cooperative activities and the creation of new work places

The scheme provides that service sectors and institutions will be erased and the dismissed workers will have to establish “social cooperatives” and continue offering the services that were officially described as ‘superfluous’ by the government in order to enforce the new working and business scheme.

The government knew the inevitable, the mayors knew it, the municipality workers unions knew it. So what’s the point of striking and protesting? Oh, to achieve some gains and profits. That’s the job of unionists, not?

PS I’m sure the next working class to be feel the innovation of ‘social cooperatives’ will be those working in the kindergartens.

I just realized I did not answer the obvious question: why should a municipality policeman need a post university degree to write a fine for a illegally parked car or why should a school guard need a PhD to keep an eye that no one steals the water pipes of the school?

Because both most probably happened to know a guy-who-knew-a-guy in the municipality and it was easier to get a comfortable job in the local government than injuring your  feet in the private sector.  That was the reason in Greece’s good times.

In bad times, there are simply no jobs in the private sector other than in call centers – and there you don’t need neither a university nor a post-university degree either.