Newsletter #39 – Feb 2020

Crocodile tears at the Court of the Queen of Hearts

When Cersei Lannister, the evil queen of plotting and scheming in the popular Games of Thrones franchise, was slapped in the face by her husband Robert Baratheon, King of the Iron Throne, she uttered the defiant words “I shall wear this as a badge of honour.” She later exacted her revenge on him through a cunning plan, leading to his premature death. Continue reading Crocodile tears at the Court of the Queen of Hearts

Is Staff Representation a Fake?

A reasoned (and partly smiling) opinion on a recent conference organised by the local section Brussels of the Commission Staff Committee

On 17 October 2019, under the trendy and self-explanatory (or Freudian?) title “#staffrepresentation&you” (of course, one thing are staff representatives (i.e. the Elected), another is you (i.e. the mere Staff), the Chair of the local section Brussels of the Commission Staff Committee pushed the organisation of a 3 hours lunchtime debate. The event enjoyed the presence of the DG HR’s Director responsible for social dialogue, Mr. Moricca and these were the debated questions: Continue reading Is Staff Representation a Fake?

Generation 2004 welcomes Commissioner Hahn

With the start of the Ursula von der Leyen Commission on December 1st 2019, Johannes HAHN also took up his appointment as the new Commissioner for Budget and Administration. This appointment concerns staff enormously since he is in charge of Administration, which includes HR policy.

On 16 January, Generation 2004 sent a welcome letter (EN version) to Mr. Hahn. In this letter, we not only welcomed the Commissioner but we have also raised some of the most important aspects of our policies as a staff representation organisation:

  • the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place and;
  • the heavy decline of the conditions of employment and the consequent increase of the precariat for some categories of staff.

We closed the letter by offering Commissioner HAHN to constructively and positively work with him on these and other staff related matters.

The Social Dialogue is coming to the Executive Agencies

The big day finally arrived. On 23 January 2020, the until now severely neglected Social Dialogue in the Executive Agencies (EAs) was finally resuscitated through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by all the Directors of the EAs and all the trade unions and staff associations of the Commission.

The MoU was achieved in a relatively short period and following numerous meetings and discussions where the input from the Staff Committees (SC) of the six EAs: EACEA, EASME, ERCEA, CHAFEA, INEA, and REA was particularly important. Continue reading The Social Dialogue is coming to the Executive Agencies

Are unpaid services received to be considered part of income?

Art. 2 of Annex VII of Staff regulations provides for an allowance for dependent children to be paid to officials. The allowance is granted automatically for children under 18, and on application for children between 18 and 26 in education or training, with supporting evidence, and provided the child is deemed to be dependent on his/her parents within the meaning of the same Article. If the child has his/her own income, this must be below a given threshold in order to be regarded as dependent. PMO decides whether the child fulfils income requirements according to Revised Conclusion 223/04 by the Heads of Administration. Continue reading Are unpaid services received to be considered part of income?

JSIS reimbursement rates – how are they determined?

Have you ever wondered how JSIS determines the maximum amount – the so-called “ceiling” – that you are reimbursed for your medical expenses? The answer is, as often, not a simple one but here we will try to explain the calculation.
The JSIS has a long list of treatments and pharmaceuticals in its system. It monitors their prices in Belgium and based on these prices, it determines ceilings for the reimbursable amount for all the different expenditures in Belgium. The financial sustainability of the scheme is another factor that plays a role for the amount of a ceiling.

Continue reading JSIS reimbursement rates – how are they determined?

Plastic waste in the European Commission

Many colleagues have expressed concern to Generation 2004 about the problem of the large amount and use of non-recyclable plastic waste produced by the Commission, in particular from its events’ catering activities and related services (including canteens, cafetarias and catering services).
The problem with such waste, as you are certainly aware is that at best it get’s burned or goes to landfill (i.e. gets buried in a hole in the ground where it stays for hundreds of years), but at worst it joins the millions of tones of plastic waste swirling around our oceans and destroying marine life.

Continue reading Plastic waste in the European Commission

AST, AST/sc Conferences

Generation 2004 takes the AST and AST/SC issues very seriously and proactively on addressing them at every possible opportunity with the Appointing Authority including  at political level. In line with this, we have recently started to organise lunchtime conferences on the topic and meeting our AST and AST/SC colleagues all over the Commission. The latest such conference just took place in Luxembourg and further sessions are planned at different Commission workplaces in the near future. In these conferences a presentation of the AST and AST/SC career history and current situation status is delivered. This is followed by an open debate where questions are answered and possible solutions are offered. Stay tuned!

 

Appraisal is almost over, Promotion season is coming

The yearly appraisal exercise is slowly nearing its end, and soon it will be promotion season. As we already had the opportunity to highlight during our high profile appraisal & promotions conference in early January (more than 800 colleagues followed or watched the recording and more than 150 asked for our help to review their self-assessments), those two “separate” HR exercises are in reality closely interlinked into a single continuous process.
Right now we are at the stage where Reporting Officers meet their staff. However DGs are also starting their preparations for the promotion process, and will compile promotion proposals lists when they get their promotion quotas from DG HR. Continue reading Appraisal is almost over, Promotion season is coming

Farewell UK, and thanks for all the stress…

In 1973, when the United Kingdom (UK) was about to join the EU, Yogi Berra, a famous American Baseball star coined the phrase: “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Today, just a few days after the UK has effectively left the Union, the same may be said of Brexit.There is still a plethora of Brexit related topics to be solved in the near future and, perhaps, even in years to come. As we said back in 2016, Brexit can last for years and, if on one side this prediction was confirmed – 3.5 years have passed since the June 2016 referendum – on the other hand it looks like this will continue to be the case. Continue reading Farewell UK, and thanks for all the stress…