Meeting with Commissioner Oettinger

On 30 April, Guenther OETTINGER, Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, invited trade unions and staff representatives to discuss some very hot topics:

  • Future reform of the Staff Regulations;
  • impact of Brexit on the 2019 and 2020 budgets;
  • MFF negotiations;
  • results of the Staff (lack-of-) Satisfaction Survey; and,
  • geographical unbalance in recruitment.

Generation 2004 recently thanked the Commissioner for defending the EU civil service and while we repeated that message in person, we also took the opportunity to ask him to put an emphasis in defending post-2004 staff by applying the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place and also to defend Contract Agents, our most precarious  colleagues. We underlined the need to stop abusive practices such as recruitment of FGII or FGIII instead of FGIV or recruiting CA 3b for permanent tasks.

While we were happy to hear that for every extra day the UK stays in the EU the 2019 budget gap is reduced, we are concerned about the 6 Billion EUR cuts in 2020 proposed if UK leaves abruptly. Generation 2004 requested not to impose any additional cuts on staff. However, should there be any, then the principle of proportionality should be a must.

We are also concerned that nine Member States (AT, SE, FR, NL, DE, HU, CZ, IE and ES) requested further cuts and want to reopen the Staff Regulations to do so, despite the contradictory acknowledgment that the geographical unbalance in recruitment is caused by lesser attractiveness  of the EU institutions. Commissioner Guenther OETTINGER assured however, that an opening should not take place before 2021.

Finally, with regard to the Staff Survey, we see that the glass is half-empty as 44% of the staff did not participate, due to the lack of adequate recognition and implementation of previous Survey’s results. We also asked to publish the results split not only between ADs and AST but also based on categories. Commissioner OETTINGER agreed with that proposal.

Following up on our recent initiative to call for an inter-syndical meeting on Contract Agents, Generation 2004 asked the Commissioner to organise another meeting fully dedicated to the situation of the Contract Agents. With the goal to have this initiative organised as broadly and energetically as possible, we reiterate our call for a detailed discussion during the inter-syndical meetings in April and May with all trade unions and staff associations.

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