Standby duty

The practices must change – Standby duty & use of private phones for business purposes in Delegations

After we exposed that the European Commission was infringing data protection law, many colleagues, particularly in Delegations, contacted us to share their experiences. They were not only ‘encouraged’ to use their private mobile phones for work purposes, also their standby duty tasks were going too far.  Continue reading The practices must change – Standby duty & use of private phones for business purposes in Delegations

International Women’s Day: where are we now?

Generation 2004 wants International Women’s Day (IWD) to be about action, evaluation and noting what still needs to be done. We want more than thanks or praise for women going the extra mile. We cannot pay our bills with applause![1] It’s not enough to simply call women ‘heroes‘ in March each year. Look at every declaration of a push for equality and see whether the actions match the words!

Continue reading International Women’s Day: where are we now?

Work groups on private mobile: voluntary?

*Update 12.04.2024: On the processing of personal data: the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) European Commission’s use of Microsoft 365 infringes data protection law for EU institutions and bodies.* Original article: There’s a difference between the right to disconnect as presented in the working time and hybrid working (WTHW) decision and the reality for those being ‘encouraged’ (voluntold/expected)  to join messaging groups on their private mobile for ‘business continuity’. See our recent communication on this topic. The right to disconnect is in the 2022 WTHW decision and also its 2023 evaluation where it is acknowledged that more needs to be done. Continue reading Work groups on private mobile: voluntary?

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)

Follow-up special DGT meeting

*Update 14.03.2023 DGT staff meeting Luxembourg 09.03.2023 the acting DG stated that the only element of standby duty which is voluntary (yes, this there is a bit of mental gymnastics in a duty being voluntary) is that the translator has some flexibility in the choice of week. That is, this is official confirmation of what was stated in the 2019 Central Staff Committee note 18/12/2019 (2019)7798989: ‘The scheme is ‘voluntary’ in that it is stated that staff are not obliged to be on standby. In practice staff report that they feel obliged to ‘volunteer’ in order to share the burden with colleagues.’ Note also that compensation is ‘up to middle managers'(Article 55(3) requires a more detailed system than this.**Update 19.12.2022, congratulations on finishing the Permanent Delegation of Translators (DPT) elections and we note with concern the suggested plan to fit Brussels DGT staff to the available space in any new building, as opposed to finding a building to fit the number of staff.* Continue reading Follow-up special DGT meeting

It’s been two years of mandatory teleworking

16 March 2022: exactly 2 years since 100% teleworking became obligatory for almost everyone at the Commission.  On that first day in 2020 some of us did not even have an internet connection at home or a computer. Nevertheless we did what we could with what we had and ensured business continuity at the Commission in the face of a global pandemic. We bought computers, got the internet connected, used our own mobile phones, joined work whatsapp groups, Continue reading It’s been two years of mandatory teleworking

“Generation 2004 stands by staff on standby” yet again

*Update 14.03.2023 DGT staff meeting Luxembourg 09.03.2023 the acting DG stated that the only element of standby duty which is voluntary (yes, this there is a bit of mental gymnastics in a duty being voluntary) is that the translator has some flexibility in the choice of week. That is, this is official confirmation of what was stated in the 2019 Central Staff Committee note 18/12/2019 (2019)7798989: ‘The scheme is ‘voluntary’ in that it is stated that staff are not obliged to be on standby. In practice staff report that they feel obliged to ‘volunteer’ in order to share the burden with colleagues.’* Continue reading “Generation 2004 stands by staff on standby” yet again

Generation 2004 stands by staff on standby

Are you sometimes asked to be available to work at short notice at night, at the weekend or during a holiday? If so, are you getting the right pay?

Standby duty is a service when you guarantee to be available to work at short notice outside of the normal Commission working hours: Monday to Friday from 07.00 until 20.00.

Note that standby duty is being available to work.  Actual work outside of normal working hours is called ‘out of hours work’ and is treated differently. Continue reading Generation 2004 stands by staff on standby