Cost of living Luxembourg

Housing prices in Luxembourg – the state takes action for renters

In the absence of any real action on the issue of Luxembourg housing costs from the EU institutions, assistance is now available from the Luxembourgish state for those on lower incomes (for Luxembourg(!)[1]) who are renting. The subsidy is between €200 and €400 per month, depending on take-home pay and how many children there are in your household. Looking at our salary scales, and depending on individual circumstances, this might help staff in all function groups and categories, but particularly our contract agent (CA), assistant (AST) and secretaries and clerks (AST/SC) colleagues. Using the pay calculator as a rough guide, we see that the Luxembourg national authority evaluation of what constitutes a low income includes our colleagues e.g. in CA III, grade 9(5), AST2(1) and AST/SC3(1). Please don’t just look at your payslip, not all allowances count towards your net income. Check out whether you are eligible by requesting a PMO certificate via the MyIntracomm Luxembourg state aid page. Let the PMO do an official calculation, you might be pleasantly surprised! Continue reading Housing prices in Luxembourg – the state takes action for renters

Housing prices in Luxembourg – the Commission is fully committed to doing nothing

*Update 09.09.2022: the Luxembourg state has taken action on housing costs* Colleagues in Luxembourg are well aware of the housing situation there: prices are so high that an increasing number of colleagues are unable to afford accommodation in or close to the city of Luxembourg. Generation 2004 has raised this point repeatedly and so we were very eager to see what (if any) measures the Commission might propose in its report to the Parliament and the Council on the application of the salary method (document COM(2022) 180 final). Calling this report a disappointment would be an understatement: dear Commissioner Hahn, if you don’t want to do anything for the colleagues in Luxembourg, just say so and don’t put up smokescreens. That would at least be an honest statement, instead of the current beating around the bush. Continue reading Housing prices in Luxembourg – the Commission is fully committed to doing nothing

Is working from home really voluntary?

*Update 21.09.2022 links to assistance for those facing financial difficulties  added [6]* *Update 09.09.2022: the colleague who requested reimbursement of the teleworking-related internet and phone costs  during COVID-19  has lost case T-486/21, see judgment (07.07.2022).*

There’s a disconnect between the image presented in the working time and hybrid working (WTHW) decision and the reality for Commission staff in terms of choice of work location and working-from-home (WFH) costs.  First on choice, the WTHW states that WFH/teleworking is voluntary (Article 9(3)) while the Commission simultaneously pursues a building policy of reducing overall office space and open-plan/hot-desking environments. Would there really be a desk for everyone if all Commission staff chose to work from the office at the same time? Continue reading Is working from home really voluntary?

Council request to further reduce spending on staff

*Update 15.09.2022: all representatives OSPs have received an invitation to a meeting with the Cabinet 21.09.2022 on the Commission response to the Council. We remind you that the Commission stated its intention to defend Commission staff purchasing power (20.07.2022[1]) in its response. It will also undertake a risk assessment/study as per ECA Special report no 15/2019 Recommendation 3. The Common Front (all representative trade unions and staff associations, of which we obviously form part) wrote to the Commissioner for Budget and HR.

Continue reading Council request to further reduce spending on staff

Would you like to undertake other activities outside your current job in the Commission?

Do you know what steps to take? Let’s say you want to be a therapist or to do some voluntary work [1] within an NGO working with kids or teaching adults different topics or other similar activities. Well, for many types of outside activities during your active service, during your leave on personal grounds (CCP) or even after leaving the service[2], the rules (revised in 2017) state that you need to ask for prior authorisation whether you are an official, contract agent (CA) or temporary agent (TA). [3] Continue reading Would you like to undertake other activities outside your current job in the Commission?

Housing costs in Luxembourg: recognition?

*update 01.04.2022 Corporate Management Board meeting of 30 March 2022 – Flash note: ‘12 actions are being proposed to increase the attractiveness of Luxembourg as place of employment’*

Colleagues in Luxembourg are facing today (well … for over a decade really) house prices that are in no way comparable to those in Brussels, although they receive the same salaries. In the words of DG HR: “This […] has been subject to criticism by some staff members whose place of employment is Luxembourg, who have argued that it does not properly reflect differences in the cost of living between Brussels and Luxembourg.” Continue reading Housing costs in Luxembourg: recognition?

‘Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest: winners!

Thanks to all of you who submitted photos of your home-office/kitchen-table/cupboard-under-the-stairs/garden IT setup and your increased bills and accommodation costs. We always appreciate your interaction and comments and you can still send us your teleworking photos and evidence of costs incurred: let us know where and how you are working! Continue reading ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest: winners!

Remote-working precedent: a workaround or a can of worms?

In January a call for expression of interest presented the possibility to work in a DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE [1]) unit in Luxembourg from any Commission site ‘for about six months’. As stated in the email, the initial Luxembourg-wide call had been unsuccessful, so this was a ‘plan B’ of sorts in these difficult times, a workaround.

Unfortunately, this quick fix opens a can of worms (there are so many issues here we almost didn’t know where to begin, hence the delay in writing this article. If you spot any additional issues, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll add them to this list!) Continue reading Remote-working precedent: a workaround or a can of worms?

Free (public) transport in Luxembourg: should I be bothered?

*Update 09.07.2021 We now have free access to the electric city bikes (‘Vel’OH!’) via the Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Luxembourg (OIL) (normally this costs €18 for an annual subscription). Check out whether there’s a Vel’OH! station near you!*

As you may know already: Luxembourg has been offering free public transport to everybody since 1 March 2020. Your first gut reaction may have been that this is a good thing: public transport has finally become truly public with free transport to everybody in one country. Continue reading Free (public) transport in Luxembourg: should I be bothered?

Lunchtime seminar on correction coefficient for Luxembourg

Following our previous article on the introduction of a correction coefficient in Luxembourg, Generation 2004 organized a lunchtime conference on this topic in Luxembourg. Colleagues from Isprad and from Zimbabwe joined in via videoconference.

The presentation focused on the specific situation of Luxembourg, i.e. Continue reading Lunchtime seminar on correction coefficient for Luxembourg