Newsletter – 2022-07-08

EPSO CBT/internal competition training: August 2022

*Update 08.08.2022 training dates are 23, 25, 26 and 30 August 2022* Generation 2004, together with Ya Semos Europeos (YSE), is organising a free webinar on Internal Competition AST 4  and training on computer-based multiple-choice test (CBT)  and internal competitions in English: join on Tuesday 19 July 2022 19:00-20:00 CET, where we’ll explain how to face the talent screener and application form for the AST4 internal competition. This is key to pass into the final phase of the competition, the oral interview. Continue reading EPSO CBT/internal competition training: August 2022

Staff in Executive Agencies need your support! Will you dare to care?

*Update 18.07.2022: check out the training on dealing with pickpockets!* The Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels (OIB) recently informed three executive agencies: the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (Eismea), the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA) and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) of its intention to move them from the Covent Garden building to the North Light building close to the Brussels-North train station. The staff committees in the agencies strongly oppose this move, citing both security and operational reasons[1]. Press articles on the security problems in the area:  Continue reading Staff in Executive Agencies need your support! Will you dare to care?

Newsletter editorial – 08-07-2022

Welcome to the Generation 2004 Newsletter of  8 July 2022.

Check our holiday checklist before leaving the office: it’s important to disconnect! For those of you with a little more time, we address the needs of cancer survivors and of all colleagues whose complex situations are not well covered by the current patchwork of rules. We also recommend there that any new absence/sickness management decision be linked to the anticipated anti-harassment decision. On the topic of harassment/bullying, check out the results of the HR March 2021 (yes, that year is correct) survey (the one with the optional section on harassment) now available under Reports/metrics.

In terms of falling between the cracks of any Commission rules (in any sphere) we would love to hear your stories: we plan to publish them (without identifying features) in our new ‘it happened to me’ column.  Disappointingly, we don’t have to look far for examples of unfortunate situations. One is that of some of our Local Agent colleagues who have lost acquired rights with the new contract, in spite of assurances. Similarly, some colleagues are to be moved to a non-EU Commission building in a less secure neighbourhood of Brussels (some of these colleagues were moved from Luxembourg (Chafea), specifically to be geographically close to their colleagues!) sign our petition to show them you care!

In the absence of Commission-wide guidelines,  DGs and agencies are doing their own thing in applying the working-time decision. Local Agent (LA) colleagues in Delegations take a critical look at their new hybrid working rules, will the promised flexibility become reality? We ask you all to tell us what you think of the new rules on working time and hybrid working. While the EEAS has a different timetable and will publish its Contract Agent reclassification list in July, the promotion/reclassification appeal deadlines are extended throughout the Commission for anyone who is out of the office: if this affects you, check out our instructions. Generation 2004 is also offering training for the internal competitions: join us for the free webinar! Just in time for the school holidays we look at the debate on the future of the Brussels European schools and ask you to please sign our corresponding petition to show your support!

That’s it now for now! Enjoy the reading and get in touch if you believe we can help!

Time for the Commission to focus on inclusion: cancer survivors

Generation 2004 strongly supports colleagues in the EU institutions affected by cancer, just as we support colleagues with any important issue impacting their physical and/or mental health. As the Commission has been in the process of revising its HR strategy for almost 2 years now, it is high time to put in place a new policy to better cater for the needs of cancer survivors and their families and the needs of all colleagues whose complex situations are not well covered by the current patchwork of rules [1]. Continue reading Time for the Commission to focus on inclusion: cancer survivors

Preserving acquired rights of Local agents – empty promises?

Generation 2004 has come across different cases where Local Agents (LAs) have indeed lost their acquired rights after signing up to the new conditions of employment (a loss of rights was mentioned as a distant possibility in 2020). First and foremost, Generation 2004 does not agree with the approach of setting the deadline for LAs to sign the new contract which was before all the annexes of the contract were in place.  The national law reference guides were not provided to colleagues at the time of signing the contract and some of the implementing decisions (i.e. the assessment procedure, guidance policies to assist Delegations in exercising their duty of care towards the local staff) are even still missing today. Continue reading Preserving acquired rights of Local agents – empty promises?

A constructive debate on the Future of the Brussels’ European Schools

In our earlier article on this matter we raised concerns over the two models described in the first draft of the paper on the “Reflections on the future structure of the Brussels European Schools”. Following the meeting of the Enlarged group of the Steering Committee Brussels on 31 May 2022, this paper was revised and following its publication, a group of parents from the Brussels’ European School 2 – Woluwe, took on the task of drafting a document that not only highlighted the raised issues in detail, but also went the extra step and constructively proposed a long-term solution for the current situation.   Continue reading A constructive debate on the Future of the Brussels’ European Schools

Hybrid working guidelines for DGs and Delegations, what should we expect? 

Generation 2004 firmly believes that the EU institutions should focus on impact and output rather than the means of work.  When the pandemic has shown that, for many roles, teleworking can be as effective as office presence (and is considered equivalent), why does the EU appear to prefer to go back in time? Why burden colleagues with again finding balance, having to revamp their schedules and routines with the associated stresses in order to be present in their place of employment rather than letting them continue to telework in peace, efficiently, effectively, and happily? Continue reading Hybrid working guidelines for DGs and Delegations, what should we expect? 

Summer holiday checklist (Tips)

*For those of you who remain in the office keeping the Commission standing, please check out the heatwave instructions for dealing with hot offices *

With many of us now looking forward to enjoying some well-deserved leave over the summer, we remind you that annual leave is your time to do with as you will. It is not there for you to catch up on work still needing done, it is not there for you to ‘clear your feet’ with projects, it is not there for you to monitor what is or is not happening back in the office. Being reachable all of the time is draining, contributes to burnout and can allow bullying/harassment to continue round the clock and unabated. Take this time for you and leave the office behind! Continue reading Summer holiday checklist (Tips)

It happened to me!

Life can be surprising, and life in the Commission can be surprising too. If you have encountered an eyebrow-raising situation, please share it with us!

We are proposing to start a new column dedicated to your experiences: we’d like you to tell us how it’s possible to get caught up between different rules (or different ways of applying the same rule) or to find yourself scratching your head thinking ‘come on, is this normal?’ Continue reading It happened to me!

New rules on Working Time and Hybrid Working. Tell us what you think.

It is now two month since its adoption: is the new Decision on Working Time and Hybrid Working in line with your expectations? How many days are you allowed to telework? Do you feel everyone has the same opportunities?

Since DG HR has not yet gathered its courage to formally and concretely ask you what you think about the so-called “New Normal” and how it is affecting your professional and private lives, Generation 2004 dares to face “the elephant in the room” and ask YOU what YOU REALLY THINK.  Continue reading New rules on Working Time and Hybrid Working. Tell us what you think.