Costa Rica News – How many of us have had an encounter with a Costa Rican government employee that made you think to yourself “I wonder who ties his/her shoes in the morning”?
Union protection, fear of hierarchs and the opportunity to present objections is why it is nearly impossible to fire a bad public employee. In all cases, due process must be upheld. The lengthy process always includes appeals.
In some sectors of public service, like the Ministry of Public Education, the dismissal process could take up to two years. Truancy of teachers is a problem getting worse and worse each year, but little can be done about it.
In another sector, Civil Service, it takes about half a year to resolve management dismissal. There are 60 days to create the record, 40 to decide the case, then another 60 to hear and resolve appeals.
Main causes for wanting to fire a public official include slander at work, aggression against a boss or peer, failing to show up to work, or jeopardizing the security of the institution. Performance evaluations need to be made in a meaningful way, not as they are now, stating that 99% of employees are “very good or excellent.” In a job that pays double the salary that those in the private sector get, the standards of performance should be higher and the way to dismiss someone easier.
So during the long drawn out firing process, we can still have the joy of encountering people that make us say, “this is why some animals eat their young.”