Newsletter – 2022-10-14

Colleagues in Kyiv to return to the office II

Since our last update on our Kyiv colleagues, we have been reaching out to colleagues of all categories in Kyiv. Hardship there continues: a situation ongoing since the outbreak of war (February 2022). Kyiv has been frequently shelled, there are power cuts many hours throughout the day; there are water shortages; sirens are going off frequently. The situation on the ground is extremely unsettling and it is impossible to have predictability on how long this will continue. Continue reading Colleagues in Kyiv to return to the office II

Newsletter editorial – 14-10-2022

Welcome to this latest edition of the Generation 2004 newsletter. We look at the issues raised by the closure of buildings and planned reduction in office temperatures in Luxembourg and Brussels. In a less serious note, we present the future of workwear for the office and potentially also for home, to try to counter the increasing cost of utilities. Our training on resilience at work is unrelated to the Commission’s building policy, but every little helps! In other news, Luxembourg is consistently being promoted as a good place to live, but is this the whole story? The big story is that most (but not all staff) will see an adjustment to their salaries. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues in delegations are again left behind, whether in terms of the salary adjustment, inflation or the possibilities of working from home.  Again on the topic of delegations, our colleagues in Kyiv have also been invited to return physically to the office by the end of this month.

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

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?

Let’s talk about resilience at work

Have you experience a traumatic event and found yourself having to return to work before you were quite 100%? Have you had difficulties in completing a project and to meet the deadline? When we talk about resilience, we’re talking about the ability to cope with the ups and downs of life and bounce back from challenges. In a workplace setting, this can be about the ability to manage anything from a tough workload to frustrating colleagues, or even to changing the working environment. Continue reading Let’s talk about resilience at work

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

Winter is coming – and with it come new guidelines on workwear for the office

*Update 18.11.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year.* *Check out the 16.11.2022 video explaining the heating system* If you have not already experienced them yourself over the summer, you all have by now at least heard some rumours. ‘Which  rumours?’, you ask, there are so many! Is it the one about the reopening of the staff regulations? No. The payment of the lump sum mentioned it the Working Time and Hybrid Working Decision (WTHW)? No, but we admire your optimism. The rumours about switching off the heating? Yes! That’s the one! The most recent pilot project[1] of the Commission:  the measures to reduce both the energy consumption and the overall costs of Commission buildings. Continue reading Winter is coming – and with it come new guidelines on workwear for the office

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?

No work-life balance for colleagues in Delegations?

While the flexible working arrangements such as offsetting and recuperating working hours (‘flexitime’) and working from home are implemented for Member States and headquarters (HQ), as of today, colleagues in 144 Delegations around the world still have no legal basis to telework.  This issue has been flagged multiple times in different meetings with management and a social dialogue was planned to be concluded in September 2022.  As of today, still, nothing. Continue reading No work-life balance for colleagues in Delegations?

The future of our survey on the rise in teleworking energy bills

*08.11.2022 we have republished this survey to enable a comparison, please participate!*

*Update 07.11.2022 we add a list of all available state aid in Luxembourg.*

*23.10.2022 the teleworking costs court case has been unsuccessful.*

It’s the perfect storm of costs: increased consumption of utilities and higher bills due to teleworking meets increased energy costs due to the political situation and even higher bills. We intend to show the compounded effects of these two hits by comparing the snapshot we took at the end of 2021 with a new pic from now: we will republish our survey and ask you again to contribute. Continue reading The future of our survey on the rise in teleworking energy bills

Colleagues in Kyiv to return to the office

*Update 22.12.2022 EEAS wants to increase the number of staff present in Kyiv, pushing staff evacuated to Brussels to return for 2 weeks at a time, starting in January 2023. We have asked for clarification and flexibility in this.* Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (24.02.2022), colleagues in Kyiv are to return to being present in office starting from 31.10.2022. Local Agents (LAs) are provisionally required to be present four days per week and official (generally expatriate) colleagues are required to be present for a minimum of 2 weeks (we have asked for clarification of this part of the instructions, since the plan for presence suggests that the 2 weeks can also be teleworked). For context, teleworking in Ukraine and abroad was made available also for LAs by Admin decision (2022)20, initially for a period of 3 months.   Continue reading Colleagues in Kyiv to return to the office