To Save Public Institutions: Syrian Regime Allows Retirees to Return

Low salaries have deterred young individuals from pursuing government jobs, Damas Post writes.

The Syrian government plans to address the shortage of personnel in administrative, research, and productive government sectors by welcoming retired employees back to government jobs on an urgent basis.

The official newspaper al-Baath has disclosed that a study is nearing completion to utilize the expertise of individuals who retired within the past five years. The study, deemed necessary, aims to tap into the deep knowledge of retired professionals to address imbalances in various government institutions caused by widespread departures and a lack of skilled personnel.

Recognizing that low salaries have deterred young individuals from pursuing government jobs, the newspaper highlights the study’s focus on engaging experienced retirees who, according to government decisions, have limited options for extending their retirement. 

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Al-Baath notes that 95 percent of retired employees take on additional work post-retirement to supplement their income. Some find these opportunities financially rewarding, especially considering the challenging economic conditions.

In recent years, many Syrian government employees have faced financial difficulties due to meagre salaries, with some unable to cover basic living expenses. The situation has led to a decline in interest among the youth for government positions, particularly in non-productive sectors like education. Employees have resorted to various means, including requesting unpaid leave, as the government refuses to accept resignations.

According to sources aligned with the government, most institutions reject resignation requests, and certain ministries have even imposed restrictions on such requests.

Talent bleeding 

In addition to conscription, Syria’s recent economic collapse has heightened apprehensions about the future, particularly among the youth, leading to an increase in migration toward Europe, neighbouring countries, and the Gulf.

Academic and economist Firas Shaabo notes that Syria has suffered a loss of human capital, particularly individuals with degrees and professional expertise, as a sense of hopelessness prevails amidst any economic improvement. He emphasizes that government employee salaries are insufficient to cover expenses for more than two days, forcing many employees to resort to corruption in financial and service institutions or face the threat of starvation.

Shaabo points out that pursuing a government job is no longer a viable option for the youth. This situation compelled the regime to extend the service of doctors and university professors. However, as this did not address the systemic issue, the government is now contemplating reintegrating retirees into the workforce, despite the likelihood of many being rejected due to the marginal financial differences between regular and retirement salaries.

The newspaper confirms that one proposed scenario for the study’s implementation involves distributing forms through specialized unions to retirees interested in returning to work, signalling an awareness that the number of individuals willing to return may be limited.

Despite the private sector’s weaknesses, it continues to attract the remaining workforce in Syria by offering higher incomes (ranging from 800,000 to 1 million Syrian pounds) than the government sector.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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