Elections for the Brussels Staff Committee in the European Commission have been set for 9-11 June. The committee is elected for 3 years and, most importantly, sends representatives to the Central Staff Committee, which is consulted on European Commission HR issues.
You may think these elections are a waste of your time, so why bother? First of all because if you (still) think that you can fend for yourself as far as your career is concerned, you may be in for a surprise: There is only so much that you can achieve alone in a context that is generally negative and getting even more difficult due to cuts and an unprofessional and unbalanced HR policy. For this reason, the staff elections are important for your career and for your future.
So, in a nutshell, why should you vote?
- You ain’t seen nothing yet as far as the reform of the Staff Regulations (SR) is concerned: Article 113 of the SR foresees a report on the functioning of the 2014 SR. This means that although there were already two reforms in 10 years, yet another reform is coming up, “reform” meaning of course that your benefits and working conditions are going to be further downgraded!
- Since there is a significant rise in euroscepticism in the EU (see: recent elections in FR, UK, FI just to name a few), no one will defend us, not even our hierarchy, they are all too busy organising the parachutage of their friends in high ranking positions and preparing for their pensions.A creeping, silent change is already underway: The number of Temporary Agents/Contract Agents will soon catch up with the number of permanent officials, probably already during the mandate of the next Brussels Staff Committee.
- The Staff Regulations were designed in the 1950s for permanent officials. They are increasingly disconnected from the changing reality. A significant fraction of us will not spend their entire professional life in the Institutions, either because their contract is not renewed or because they find better opportunities.
- Our pension scheme is sinking fast: A huge pension liability of €40 billion has not been provisioned for and is financed through the operational budget of the EC. All we have is a promise from the Member States that they will pay our pensions when we retire. Do you believe in this? We don’t! Most high ranking officials only seem to be pre-occupied with their own pension rights.They are prepared to screw you when it comes to preserving what they see as their acquired rights.
- If you are still not convinced that something is going terribly wrong, look at this graph showing the current grade distribution created by the 2004 reform and by an HR policy that is consistenly favouring the career perspectives and benefits of the higher grades.
Why vote for Generation 2004?
- The grade distribution of your staff representatives shows clearly that the unions represent the interests of high level officials. Generation 2004 represents the interests of all grades and categories, not just those of AD13s!
- Help us stop the labelling process whereby artificial “senior expert” labels are allocated to AD12/13 without any form of selection for the sole purpose of allowing them to reach the AD14 grade and close you out from interesting positions.
- Help us ensure equal treatment of AST staff who have been assigned, without any transparency, to a secretarial job.
- Help us fight for a revision of the promotion system (in line with a recent court ruling); in particular recognise responsibilities of those in low grades who are being asked to take on responsibilities that AD13 refuse to take.
- Several of the unions will soon have more pensioners than active staff in their membership. As a result, they are focused on preserving acquired rights and have lost sight of the big picture. Generation 2004 being a young association does not suffer from this problem.
- If a trade-off is required between preserving the interests of pre-2004 pensioners and the interests of active staff, you know where we stand and you know where the trade unions stand ! Make your choice!
- If you were recruited as an official after 2004, this is really your ‘Commission de la derniere chance’, i.e. your last chance to regain part of what you have lost due to the 2004 and 2014 staff reform. It is your chance to elect people who have no taboo or vested interest about the future evolution of the Staff Regulations