Breaking news: 3.5% pay raise for EU staff

Let’s start with the good news: After several years of abstinence during the first part of this decade, EU staff is going to receive a 3.5% pay rise on their December payslip1. 1.9% of this rise is due to the indexation on general salary increases in the public services of EU Member States (based on a basket of 11 MS) and 1.4% because of inflation in Brussels/Luxembourg. The remaining 0.2% will come from a decrease in our pension contribution. The bad news is that the budget for this pay rise, on the order of €200 million this year alone, will have to come from savings elsewhere in the administrative budget, most probably from future staff cuts. A report on the budget impact of this measure was sent to the European Parliament last week. We assume MEPs and Council members won’t be enthusiastic given that, together with last year’s 2.4% rise, this makes a total of 6% pay rise while general inflation in the EU has been close to zero. While we think this rise and the associated budget cost can be well argued for the members of the ‘working class’ in the EU institutions, namely all low grades and contract agents, Generation 2004 thinks it will be difficult to convince the EU taxpayer that the high grade aristoc(r)ats which comprise several hundred so-called “Commission Senior Experts” earning a generous €14,000 a month should benefit from a €700/month pay rise in just 2 years. But let’s try to be positive: with this money, our senior experts will be able to buy a brand new Apple iphone every month (we suggest the gold coloured version) so they have something to play with during the long and tedious meetings they have to endure in the interest of the institution…

1) Figure valid for Brussels and Luxembourg, where the majority of the staff is based.

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