Newsletter – 2023-07-20

Newsletter editorial – 20-07-2023

Welcome to the summer edition of the Generation 2004 newsletter of 2023. Have a look at our updated summer checklist, see the status of the new harassment package and our ongoing work on the EPSO debacle. Check out our frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Picard judgement affecting retirement and pensions: know your rights! We also make seven observations on the ongoing evaluation of working time and hybrid working: why is it so limited in scope? We propose an update to our previous surveys (please participate!) in order to collect data to facilitate meaningful comparison with the official evaluation. We ask the Commission (again) to address the increasing cost of living using the tools already at its disposal and renew out call for teleworking from anywhere (TWA) to be extended: we’ve shown we can work just as well, so why not?

So, that’s it for this this eighth edition, thanks to all of you for your support, ideas and feedback: please keep it coming!

Take care and enjoy reading!

Follow-up survey on teleworking, hybrid working and TWA

*Update 09.08.2023 please declare the TWA days you use! See footnote [*] for how and why.* Original article: We ask you to participate in a follow-up survey about teleworking, hybrid working and teleworking from outside the place of employment (TWA) in order to make a comparison with the answers you provided to our two original surveys: Working time and teleworking (and the results) and Survey on teleworking from abroad. Continue reading Follow-up survey on teleworking, hybrid working and TWA

Harassment package: next steps

We provide an update on the new anti-harassment package. We had a political consultation with Commissioner Hahn on 12.07.2023, concluding the series of the social dialogue meetings (started January 2023 [1]) to draft the new decision on the prevention of and fight against psychological[2] and sexual harassment. This last meeting underlined the political will and the commitment to make a difference regarding the anti-harassment package, which text of which will now be submitted for decision. Continue reading Harassment package: next steps

Time for the Commission to address the cost of living

Generation 2004 requested DG HR open a formal negotiation (social dialogue) right after the summer break on measures to tackle the effects of inflation. The one which has been on the table the longest is the need to compensate in some way the additional costs of teleworking: this is one that we have repeatedly made noise about (most recently 07.11.2022 and 30.11.2022, but at least since 27.04.2020). Thanks to the social dialogue, the provision is there for this to happen (Working Time and Hybrid Working (WTHW), Article 13(4)), but is there any willingness to  make it happen? Continue reading Time for the Commission to address the cost of living

EPSO update – the show must go on!

*Update 11.08.2023, September training offered by HR for those who passed written tests.* Original article: Firstly, our EPSO survey is still open: we eagerly await your responses. The more data we have, the clearer the picture we can paint of the exam experience and the more difficult it is to dismiss the evidence as not representative/urban legends/hearsay. Please participate! Now, onto the latest update on the ongoing EPSO issues. The bad news is that nothing has changed so far and everyone who should take action to address the problem has not yet done so. This in spite of the specific actionable issues raised by Generation 2004, all the trade unions and staff associations together (‘Common Front/Front Commun’) as well as the Central Staff Committee. Nevertheless, we do not give up: we continue fighting for your rights and for a robust, fair system that will work, ensure equal opportunities and not push the entire responsibility of known technical failings on the candidates. Continue reading EPSO update – the show must go on!

The institutions implement the Picard judgement – sort of … FAQ

*Update 06.09.2023 Check out this (Brussels) event for anyone who has made pension contributions in Germany.* Original article: In April, we informed you during a lunchtime conference about the judgement in the Picard case and its far-reaching consequences for (former) contract agents (CAs) and temporary agents (TAs) or more precisely: staff that were previously covered by the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants (CEOS).

While the judgement is one of (very few) positive events in recent years for temporary staff, Continue reading The institutions implement the Picard judgement – sort of … FAQ

Evaluation of hybrid working, room for improvement

More than one year into the implementation of the Decision on Working time and Hybrid Working (WTHW) and with the deadline fast approaching, DG HR started the obligatory evaluation process at the end of May to ‘assess whether adjustments … are required’ (see Article 17, WTHW decision). Generation 2004 welcomes this evaluation and the fact that HR has requested feedback from (selected) joint committees, even though it is not formally required. Nevertheless, we do find it unfortunate that an evaluation envisaged from the start should have such limited scope. We have 7 proposals: 2 to make the evaluation more meaningful and inclusive and 5 on the decision itself. Continue reading Evaluation of hybrid working, room for improvement

Teleworking from abroad: why not more?

We worked from home (‘telework’) 100% for over a year (2020-21) and we’ve been able to telework from outside the place of employment (teleworking from anywhere/abroad (TWA)) for 10 days per year since 2021. In comparison, colleagues in the European Central Bank (ECB) have 90 such days and those at the European Patent Office (EPO) have 60. We’ve shown teleworking works and we’ve shown ourselves to be flexible, responsible and trustworthy. We delivered, even from kitchen tables and living rooms, even from outside the place of assignation. What happens now? Let’s look again at taking TWA further. Continue reading Teleworking from abroad: why not more?

Summer holiday checklist (Tips)

*Update 24.07.2023 Luxembourg national legislation now includes the right to disconnect, though the situation on the ground needs some work.* *For those of you who remain in the office keeping the Commission standing (thanks!), please check out the heatwave instructions for dealing with hot offices and the list of buildings to be temporarily closed under Buildings Energy Saving Together (BEST) 2023[1]. Read our related article on how these closures undermine the insistence that working from home is voluntary.*

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)