Newsletter – 2020-10-23

Newsletter editorial – 23-10-2020

Welcome to the Generation 2004 Newsletter of 23 October 2020.

In this issue we open with the hot topic of the season: Teleworking from outside of your place of employment! A topic as hot as the number of different opinions about it, a situation that led us to launch a survey to get a real pulse of the situation.

We also cover a topic that, with the ever increasing number of fixed-term contact staff,  becomes more and more relevant, the transfer out of pensions from the Commission system to other systems.

We also bring you the latest news from the Brussels Local Staff Committee mismanagement practises on how experience stopped counting and contract staff should not expect much from the current leadership of this body.

On more positive news, we report on how the PMO listened to our request and increased the size of its team handling Belgium family allowances, which have see their values change earlier this year and have consequently increased the number of update requests in this area.

The training on burnout prevention, which we announced in our previous newsletter, is about to start. Its two exploratory sessions were attended by more than 70 colleagues. The first real training session will start on Wednesday 28 October and you can still join! The course is free of charge but donations to NGO Maïa are encouraged.

Finally we bring you the situation around the new European School of Brussels and how a grassroots movement that Generation 2004 proudly supported, managed to sway a vote that would have otherwise very negatively impacted many pupils and their families.

The new European School of Brussels

The European Schools of Brussels have been under great stress for a long period of 10 years due to overcrowding.

The inaction of the Belgium state to comply with its legal obligations to provide a new school, coupled with the lack of real pressure from the European Commission for it to do so, led to an extreme situation that needs very urgent attention. Continue reading The new European School of Brussels

Do you want to be able to telework from outside your place of employment?

You have shown that teleworking is possible, but do you want more of it and are you being consulted? [1]

Article 20 of the Staff Regulations stipulates that ‘An official shall reside either in the place where he is employed or at no greater distance therefrom as is compatible with the proper performance of his duties. The official shall notify the Appointing Authority of his address and inform it immediately of any change of address.’

Therefore, the outcome of any future teleworking decisions might affect us all. These choices could  impact everything from the multiannual financial framework (MFF) to the European Green Deal, to all 6 pillars of the new HR strategy to the money you take home every month: the 16 % expatriation allowance / 4% foreign residence allowance and potentially the coefficient (if any) that applies to your salary.   Continue reading Do you want to be able to telework from outside your place of employment?

Catch-22: Do as I say, not as I do

Here is a good example for a Catch-22 situationStaff on fixed-term contracts excluded from potential roles due to their fixed-term contracts. 

Generation 2004 again challenges the unequal treatment of staff, this time coming from what would ideally be the most unlikely of sources, the Local Staff Committee (LSC) in Brussels, which refused to interview those candidates who had ‘only a year left’ before hitting the arbitrary 7-year rule for their recent vacant post since it would be a ‘waste of time’. It is most unfortunate that an LSC would choose not to lead by example, choose not to seize this opportunity to take action and fulfil their declared responsibility to ‘represent the interests of the staff ’. But what can we expect from from Union for Unity (U4U) and Alliance, a coalition representing the interests of the already-relatively-well-looked-after?  [1]

Continue reading Catch-22: Do as I say, not as I do

A perfect storm of change: more staff made available to process PMO file updates for Belgian family allowance

Belgian-based parents: update your family-allowance information

Generation 2004 has received confirmation from the PMO that they are increasing the resources allocated to the family-allowances calculating team as we requested and we’re promised that this should be visible to those still awaiting a response within weeks: let us know whether this is indeed your experience!   Continue reading A perfect storm of change: more staff made available to process PMO file updates for Belgian family allowance

Do you want to prevent burnout?

Generation 2004 is organising a coaching laboratory on burnout prevention and well-being, in collaboration with a colleague with experience in this field.

  • Do you work in a complex environment and have to deal with difficult situations?
  • You want to make the difference between the professional and private sphere and you do not know how to do it?
  • Your health is the priority… and you do not know how to protect it? Continue reading Do you want to prevent burnout?