For over 3 years all trade unions and EU delegation staff committees have been working with the administration to finalise the exercise of modernising Local Agent (LA) working conditions.
Although Generation 2004 participated in two rounds of social dialogue meetings in the EEAS in May, the decision was however finalised without our involvement as written in our article “Nihil de nobis, sine nobis!”. Although the power to adopt the last three implementing rules was delegated to the EEAS, we are of the opinion that any decisions affecting the LA staff in EU delegations should consistently involve the Commission Local Staff Committee Outside of the Union (LSC HU). The European Commission Local Agents still elect their representatives in the European Commission Staff Committee and not in the EEAS and should thus not be left without a voice when it comes to any decision affecting their working conditions.
Framework Rules were set out in 1992 and they were put into force together with special conditions of employment concluded for each delegation. These rules also contain many provisions that need to be updated due to improvement in social rights generally provided by the international labour organisations and EU directives. The exercise involved all trade unions based in headquarters, the EEAS staff committee of and the CLP HU.
The new package was concluded and entered into force as of 1 June 2020. Local Agents who were employed before 1 June 2020 were offered a period of 5 months (until 15 November 2020) to decide whether they would like to sign the addendum to their employment contract in order to have these new rules apply to them.
The relevant texts of all the key reform decisions are available online to everyone in both English and French.
In a nutshell, improvements included in the reformed package contain the following elements.
LA employment conditions (currently framework rules)
• Maternity leave increased to 20 weeks.
• Paternity leave (NEW!) increased to 10 days.
• Adoption leave (NEW!) increased to “up to” 5 weeks.
• Clear legal basis for joint committee consultation for deferral of promotion.
• Clear legal basis for “change of function group” (formerly understood as reclassification).
• Clear legal basis for due diligence to local staff, including emergency/crisis management policy for local staff.
• Legal basis to have an internal mechanism for harassment case reporting and treatment.
• Increase in special leave rights (1 – Special paid leave for of 5 days 20-25-30-35-40) years.
• Faster promotion, instead of 1+1 steps, 2+1 steps for promotion.
• Clear legal basis to allow Local Agent Groups I and II to benefit from flexible arrangements: (flexitime regime and recuperation leave for authorised work out of normal office hour and the perspective of teleworking to be rolled out to delegations).
LA medical (Currently known as CSISLA)
• Better coverage range and ceilings.
• Better compensation scheme for cases of workplace accident and occupational decease.
LA provident fund
• Opportunity to increase contribution from 5% to 10% for delegations, which uses PF as primary scheme. This will be a progressive change of 0.5% increase yearly.
• Establishment of a clear legal basis that the cumulated fund belongs to Local Agents.
All Local Agents are encouraged to look at all attachments carefully. At delegation level, staff representatives are encouraged to discuss widely with all Local Agent colleague to see whether there are any request for clarifications, any questions, etc. Generation 2004 is as usual at your disposal to answer any questions.
For your convenience, a comparative table is also available