Empty promises? Medical staff already forgotten?

As Generation 2004 we would like to express our enormous gratitude to the medical staff as whole: you have worked extremely hard, under huge pressure, put in long working hours and showed great dedication throughout this pandemic. We make a special mention also of those in Brussels charged with the additional responsibility of vaccinating [1] Brussels-based and visiting staff (e.g. colleagues in the European External Action Service (EEAS)) in parallel with their other activities such as PCR testing and annual visits.

In several social dialogue meetings with DG HR and our fellow trade unions and staff associations, we highlighted that our medical staff had gone the extra mile, accumulating a lot of overtime and struggling with exhaustion and we stated that they should be should be either compensated or allowed to recover these hours through recuperation (Article 56, Staff Regulations), especially in light of the fact that many of the nursing staff belong to the assistant (AST) function group.

Message of reassurance by DG HR

Generation 2004 was reassured by DG HR that these colleagues would indeed be rewarded for their tremendous work during COVID-19 in the interest of the service. Unfortunately, due to financial constrains making it difficult to either hire staff to cover recuperation or to pay the hours accumulated, the work of our colleagues in the Medical Service would have to wait and be rewarded through faster promotions, given these particular circumstances.

Empty promises, no action?

However, to our surprise, and that of our medical service colleagues, this has not happened. For this reason, we contacted DG Ingestad [2] to make her aware of this matter and asked her to ensure that colleagues are either remunerated or compensated for their overtime. In addition, we have asked that these colleagues are taken particularly into consideration for promotions in the appeal phase [3].

Generation 2004 strongly believes that colleagues working in the interest of the service during the pandemic deserve appreciation from the administration.

Let us know whether this affects you or add a comment below: we represent you, tell us your experiences!


[1] ‘Medical Service: 18,000 colleagues vaccinated in five months Epic campaign closed end of August.’ (Au Quotidien, MyIntracomm, 07.09.2021)

[2] 14.09.2021 response makes further promises, we will keep you updated!

[3] The next steps in the 2021 reclassification and promotion exercises are:

  • mid-November: publication of final lists  (check administrative notices or email)
  • December: changes visible in pay slip.

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