Cost of living Luxembourg

The annual medical check-up: the ‘new normal’

We start with some context: the annual medical check-up, that obligation that is not generally enforced, is done by only around 1/3 of staff [1]. Why might this be? Well, cost is an issue: while the check-up itself and associated laboratory tests are normally reimbursed at 100%, anything stemming from that check-up (‘diagnostic examinations’ or ‘additional treatments’, for examples) will be reimbursed in the normal way (85% up to set ceilings which may or may not correspond to reality, we hear you Luxembourg [2]). Continue reading The annual medical check-up: the ‘new normal’

High time for the Commission to show flexibility!

*Update 14.12.2022 list of buildings closed Dec/Jan* We, the Commission staff, have shown (and continue to show) outstanding flexibility, especially during the recent crises: whether that’s the pandemic and the lockdowns, war in Ukraine, energy resources or skyrocketing inflation. In spite of all this and the exceptional workload these crises created for many DGs, staff made every possible effort to continue to deliver business continuity in the interest of the European people we serve.  Continue reading High time for the Commission to show flexibility!

Use it or lose it at the Commission

*Update 03.01.2023, please don’t give up your >12 days of  annual leave!* *Update 18.11.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year.* Use your own allocated desk as much as possible, or you might find yourself soon in hot-desking (or as the Commission calls it, a ‘dynamic’ environment). In fact, this non-optimal use of workstations was the reasoning used as a basis to move colleagues to hot-desking environments of the most extreme type – large open-plan office space with no assigned desks, where furniture, individual storage space and quiet rooms are reduced to the bare minimum. Continue reading Use it or lose it at the Commission

Nine months on, what’s happening with the 12 actions for Luxembourg?

*Update 16.01.2023 the Caisse Nationale de Santé (CNS) has shared a hospital tariff list. Here are the PMO contact details for follow-up questions.*

In September 2022 it was announced that ‘progress was made‘ on the 12 actions proposed in March 2022 by the Heads of Administration (Chefs d’Administration) of EU institutions and bodies based in Luxembourg (CALux) to address the difficulties of recruiting staff. So, 9 months on, let’s look at the achievements declared. As ever, we check the sources; in this case, the minutes of the 29.09.2022 meeting (point 4) for the details: updates in italics. Continue reading Nine months on, what’s happening with the 12 actions for Luxembourg?

Follow-up survey on teleworking utility bills

*Update 09.01.2023: he original survey had >1200 participants, this follow-up is not yet half way, please help to make this comparison survey representative! We need you!* As promised in October, we ask you to participate in this, our follow-up survey on the utility costs related to working from home in order to make a comparison with the answers you provided to our original survey (January 2021 – January 2022). We want to demonstrate any further change in costs: our first survey related to an expected increase in the consumption of energy but the issue now is related to Continue reading Follow-up survey on teleworking utility bills

Annual Salary Adjustment 2022 +4.5%

*Eurostat update to the Correction coefficient can be found on p. 34 of their report and it is now official on MyIntracomm (13.12.2022)*

*Update 08.11.2022 to clarify: this 4.5% is in addition to the general intermediate salary update announced in June 2022. For correction coefficient updates and SNEs please check below [1].* Almost everyone, unfortunately with the exception of our local agent (LA) colleagues, will receive a 4.5% salary increase, with retroactive effect from 1 July 2022, to maintain equality with the developments in the Member States. For more info, check the Eurostat Report on the 2022 annual update of remuneration and pensions of EU officials (28.10.2022). Continue reading Annual Salary Adjustment 2022 +4.5%

Reimbursement of teleworking expenses: the Court says ‘no’

Here is the update on Court case T-486/21 promised in our article on whether working from home can truly be considered voluntary. We noted there that the Court rejected the application made by one of our colleagues for reimbursement of teleworking-related internet and phone costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic (judgment 07/09/2022). We’ve been raising the issue of additional teleworking costs for over 2 years now and even though all OSPs succeeded in having this issue explicitly mentioned in the  Commission Decision of 24/03/2022 on working time and hybrid working (Article 13) we see the Commission is increasingly reluctant to act. Continue reading Reimbursement of teleworking expenses: the Court says ‘no’

Luxembourg: shiny happy people?

*Update 07.11.2022 we add a list of all available state aid in Luxembourg.* Luxembourg is indeed everything EPSO says about it and it does indeed have a rather pretty hanging cycle track (check out the EPSO video). It is also one of the happiest places in the world, as far as happiness can be measured[1]. So why do we keep banging on about an ‘attractivity’ (and staff retention) issue? What’s the problem?

The biggest problem is accommodation, more specifically its scarcity and price. Continue reading Luxembourg: shiny happy people?

Commission to respect expected salary adjustment for some, but not for all

*Update 03.11.2022: Eurostat has published the final figures on the increase for Commission staff in its report.* Against the backdrop of increasing prices and rising inflation and during a period that is, for many staff, the summer break, the Council requested the Commission analyse how to further cut expenditure on staff, asking for a response by the end of September 2022. The Council was specifically targeting the salary updates intended to address inflation. Continue reading Commission to respect expected salary adjustment for some, but not for all

All at home! Will the Commission (again) close buildings?

*Update 14.12.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year. Here is a list. Here is  how to find and book a desk.* In August 2022 we asked whether working from home could really be considered voluntary, given the general reduction in office space across the Commission and the closure of many buildings for several weeks over the summer as part of the Buildings Energy Saving Together (BEST) Action. Well we can now add to that list  the plan to lower temperatures in the buildings still in use. BEST was to save energy by powering down ventilation and air conditioning. The staff normally based in these ‘volunteered’ buildings (again, who volunteers each building?) could either telework 100% from the place of employment or find a desk in another building. We repeatedly asked for details on provision made for staff with specialist equipment e.g. those with disabilities or additional needs, but received no clear response on this other than that staff can work from home. Continue reading All at home! Will the Commission (again) close buildings?