2020 Annual Leave in Delegations

On 4 December 2018 a sweeping ruling of the  European Court of Justice deemed Article 6 of Annex X of the Staff Regulations illegal. The said article, changed at the occasion of the 2014 Staff Regulations reform, reduced the annual leave of colleagues in Delegations to bring it in line with everyone else. The ruling was made on grounds of the health and safety of staff who, most times isolated in remote corners of the world, needs extra time to travel back home and rest with their family and friends.

With no immediate reaction from the Administration in the following two weeks, on 19 December, a Common Front joint Article 90 Complaint online form was launched to ask for the 4 December ECJ ruling to be applied for the Annual Leave decision for 2019 (we remind the 2019 annual leave was set on the October 9th with a deadline to file complaints on 9 January) . This exercise ultimately resulted in a new court case joined by 700+ expatriated colleagues in EU Delegations.

The above is all public knowledge. What is not public knowledge is the fact that it was a Generation 2004 colleague stationed in an EU Delegation who, while by chance checking his annual leave rights, noticed the deadline to submit complaints was 9 January and not 31 March as initially announced by the lawyers. This information, which he swiftly transferred to Generation 2004 in Brussels, precipitated a rush of contacts among OSPs and launching the online Article 90 complaint procedure in a very tight delay that saw it launched on the eve of the end-of-year break with a deadline just after it. This year, Generation 2004 kept a close eye on the annual leave setting for next year (it was set on 5 October) and immediately started working on it with other OSPs. Meanwhile the Common Front tried to initiate a negotiation at Administrative and Political level on these matters but received no response. Therefore, earlier today a new complaint procedure was launched for the annual leave of 2020.

You may have already seen the email from the Common Front calling for registrations in the 2020 Annual Leave joint Article 90 complaint action but in case you have missed it and would like to join, please enrol here.

On the functioning of the Brussels LSC

As you may know, Generation 2004 scored highest in the last Brussels local staff committee elections with 30% of votes. It was not only a big surprise to the administration, but foremost to the other trade unions. Despite the huge gain in votes and representativeness and due to preferential votes to smaller trade unions, G2004 did not obtain due number of seats in the Local Staff Committee Brussels (LSC). The new President Continue reading On the functioning of the Brussels LSC

The new booking tool NEO – Sustainable travel?

On 1 July 2019, the Commission launched a new online booking tool called NEO. The goal is to help staff in booking their missions. In practice, NEO is the furthest thing from offering sustainable travel.

First things first. In theory, you see options of logging in and choosing between air and rail transport. In practice, the search function finds a considerable number of train stations, available for selection. However, for many, if not most of these train stations, NEO does not offer any rail connections whatsoever, which leaves us wondering why this is the case. Continue reading The new booking tool NEO – Sustainable travel?

Social Dialogue in the Executive Agencies: State of play

Several rounds of bilateral discussions were held over the last few months between the Directors of the six Executive Agencies (EAs) and the EC Trade Unions (TUs); and, between the Staff Committees (SCs) of the EAs and the EC TUs with the objective of paving the way for the introduction of the long-awaited social dialogue. On 19th June, representatives of all three groups of stakeholders (EAs Directors, EAs’ SCs; and, EC TUs) sat around the same table for the first time, although EAs’ SCs were invited only as observers and at the very last minute. Continue reading Social Dialogue in the Executive Agencies: State of play

Acquired rights… and acquired disadvantages

You surely have already heard about acquired rights. All of us acquire one or the other right in the course of our professional life. For example, you acquire pension rights according to the accrual rate applying to you. You also acquire the right to follow a certain career path on the event of your recruitment, which follows some selection procedure such as an open competition. This procedure determines, in which part of the EU “caste system” you end up. Your qualifications, experience and abilities only count to the extent that you fulfil some minimum criteria to gain admission to the respective selection procedure. It also will not matter that much what tasks you will carry out in the end. Possibilities for breaking out of your own caste are rather limited. Continue reading Acquired rights… and acquired disadvantages

Will the Commission ever become a ‘Workplace of the Future’?

New Ways of Working in Public Administration

The European Commission (EC) has approved a Communication on a modern and flexible workplace of the future. The Communication is based on more than two years of analysis, consultations and exchanges.  The last report draws conclusions from these analyses and proposes a set of principles and recommendation for the future workplace in the EC. Continue reading Will the Commission ever become a ‘Workplace of the Future’?

Commissioner Oettinger visited Luxembourg

On 9 October 2019, Commissioner Oettinger visited Luxembourg in order to talk to Mr Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs Luxembourg, and discuss with him the follow-up of the Georgieva-Asselborn-Agreement about the reallocation of 250 posts from Brussels to Luxembourg. The Commissioner took this opportunity to meet also the Board of the Local Staff Committee and representatives of OSPs in Luxembourg for a one-hour meeting before his meeting with Mr Asselborn. Continue reading Commissioner Oettinger visited Luxembourg

2019 pay rise: 2.0% + 0.3%

As mostly every year (yes, we still remember the great salary freeze brought upon us by the 2014 staff regulations reform and a bunch of irresponsible bankers) December is a good pay month. In this month, we all get the adjustment of the nominal net remuneration of European officials in Brussels and Luxembourg, calculated according to the method to maintain a parallel development of purchasing power with the national civil servants in the Member States. Continue reading 2019 pay rise: 2.0% + 0.3%

Social dialogue on Temporary Agents

The Decision on Temporary Agents (TAs) has been reported to the next Commission.

Last May, Director of HR.B ‘Talent Management & Diversity’, C. LEVASSEUR presented and hastily pressed for approval of the draft decision on TAs at the European Commission (EC), a proposal setting out new selection procedures and working conditions. The initial draft decision was not a mere update of the current GIPs for the purposes of the service, but a radical change on our institution’s HR policy. Continue reading Social dialogue on Temporary Agents