Newsletter – 2020-12-18

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Generation 2004 wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in spite of these very particular times, it’s been a hard year for all of us and we’d like you to know that we continue to raise your issues and fight on your side, even in the unprecedented perfect storm of circumstances we have been living for a while now: the ‘new normal’ of a global pandemic, national lockdowns, sudden border closures, homeschooling-teleworking burnout and an EU-27 post-Brexit: we are still here for you! Continue reading Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Return to the office well out of sight

As we have done since the very beginning of the COVID‑19 pandemic, we at Generation 2004 continue to closely monitor developments and their repercussions on our working conditions, as well as the health and well-being of staff. In November we participated in two Social Dialogue meetings with DG Human Resources and Security (DG HR) to discuss all the issues pertinent to the health emergency.

Continue reading Return to the office well out of sight

Local agents update

Implementation of the new package for local agents (LAs)

While the administration commits to get the large number of EU Delegation exceptions (‘derogations’) ready for a decision by February 2021, it means the entire package will not be available for LAs to decide until then. In this latest update to this ongoing issue, Generation 2004 urges all LA colleagues to ensure that they fully understand the entire package before they make their decision as it is likely to be irreversible. Continue reading Local agents update

Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Following the announcement by Commissioner Hahn and DG HR of a move to help staff equip their home offices, many of you contacted Generation 2004 to enquire about the two different schemes mentioned. Yes, you read that correctly, the Commission has set up one scheme for the (partial) reimbursement of a screen and an office chair (purchase deadline 31 December [1]) and is developing a more comprehensive second scheme for 2021 [2].

Generation 2004 was pleased that the Commission is at last taking steps in the direction we have been advocating for since the start of the COVID‑19 crisis: support staff under the compulsory teleworking arrangements by improving ergonomics at home.

Continue reading Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Junior Professionals Programme open for contract agents – or not

DG Human Resources and Security (DG HR) has recently announced changes to the Junior Professionals Programme (JPP). The most important change is that now all contract agents (CAs), from function group 1 (FGI) to 3 (FGIII), can apply for the programme [1]. Sounds too good to be true? Congratulations for recognising this, you are definitely an experienced colleague at the Commission.

Continue reading Junior Professionals Programme open for contract agents – or not

Office-space reorganisation: reply from DG Trade

Generation 2004 sent a note to Ms WEYAND, Director-General of DG Trade on 4 November 2020 to request clarification on their plans for an office-space reorganisation.

We were contacted in relation to plans to move only assistants/secretaries and clerks (ASTs/AST-SCs) and contract agents (CAs) into shared offices.

Continue reading Office-space reorganisation: reply from DG Trade

Newsletter editorial – 18-12-2020

Welcome to the last Generation 2004 Newsletter of 2020. And to the end of week 40 of telework for most of us.

Since our last instalment the details of the partial reimbursement of an office chair and screen have become clearer, but there appears to be a second scheme planned, how does this fit with what’s already being done: is it backwards compatible?

The Junior Professionals Programme has been extended to include contract agents (CAs), but our look at the eligibility criteria suggests that it’s less inclusive than it seems.

No general return to the office is planned for the foreseeable future, but when it does happen (and it will!) we need to be sure that we don’t return to office space which has been reconfigured in our absence and without our input.

We also provide information on the (even further!) extended deadline for local agents (LAs) to agree new working conditions and point out a couple of pitfalls.

We take a look at the responses you provided to our survey on teleworking from abroad and list some tasks it’s worthwhile getting done this side of the Christmas and New Year break.

So, that’s it for 2020, which, despite not knowing what 2021 will provide, we are only too eager to see it behind us! Take care and enjoy reading!

Teleworking from abroad: Survey results are out

Generation 2004 asked you for your opinion on this topic in a 10-question survey over 5 weeks October-November 2020 and 1 500 of you responded. The short answer to our question of whether you want to be able to telework from abroad is a resounding ‘YES!’: 93% (1 393) of those who responded would like to have that option available.

Though it must be noted that there are several different versions of ‘yes’ proposed and it was possible to select more than one of them: Yes, for a limited period like summer, Christmas etc./Yes, in exceptional situations like COVID‑19./Yes, permanently.

Continue reading Teleworking from abroad: Survey results are out

Things to check before holidays start (Tips)

Although at the moment you are most probably in full trying-to-find-one-last-gift mode (good luck with that!), there are perhaps some other things worth checking before your well-deserved Christmas and New Year holiday leave.

If you meet the criteria, submit your request to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as it is available: the deadline is 15 January 2021. Continue reading Things to check before holidays start (Tips)