Nine months on, what’s happening with the 12 actions for Luxembourg?

In September 2022 it was announced that ‘progress was made‘ on the 12 actions proposed in March 2022 by the Heads of Administration (Chefs d’Administration) of EU institutions and bodies based in Luxembourg (CALux) to address the difficulties of recruiting staff. So, 9 months on, let’s look at the achievements declared. As ever, we check the sources; in this case, the minutes of the 29.09.2022 meeting (point 4) for the details: updates in italics.

1: Launching site-specific European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) competitions,

Not mentioned

2: Job shadowing initiatives for career guidance officers,

Not mentioned

3: Creation of a common job platform,

Not mentioned

4: Inter-institutional excellence hubs (e.g. financial, digital, legal),

Not mentioned

5: Housing allowance,

‘… the institutions agreed on a formula that would apply once the budgetary situations permits it…members of the Corporate Management Board:  suggested …not to raise expectations due to the lack of available budget in the short and medium term; suggested to closely scrutinise the revised temporary housing initiative, stressing the importance of ensuring its budget-neutrality …’

6: Offer of temporary housing,

Not mentioned

7: Jobs for spouses,

Not mentioned

8: Interinstitutional cooperation of Welcome Desks,

Not mentioned

9: Future of interinstitutional crèches in Luxembourg,

Not mentioned

10: Common communication strategy,

Not mentioned

11: Collaboration with the national authorities,

Will continue

12: Cooperation with top European universities.

Not mentioned

While it is possible that the progress was more substantial than the impression given in the notes, we are scratching our heads a little as to whether this would qualify as progress elsewhere. Note that while there is evidence of other entities providing input to the CALux on these actions, the September meeting marked the first public declaration of any output and the output is, at best, a little underwhelming.

This is perhaps unfair. In those minutes it is also noted that an inter-institutional taskforce led by PMO to address hospital pricing in Luxembourg (not one of the 12 action items, but yes, a long-standing issue [1]) is expected to present its first results by the end of 2022. While it is good to keep an open mind, we do wonder what qualifies as results and how tangible they will be.

To put the situation in perspective, the Luxembourg state is now offering several means of financial aid to those on low incomes and many of our colleagues will be eligible. The Commission is set to close buildings during winter due to utilities and costs, those same costs that will apply to those working from home. In October Eurostat stated that NATO and EFTA use a correction coefficient of 124.6 for Luxembourg p.6) [2].

So, please let us know if you’ve seen or heard of any movement on any of the action items listed above, it’s been 9 months, that’s more than enough time to get started on something concrete, right?

For any other questions, do not hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment below.

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[1] RCAM/JSIS members are charged more for services in Luxembourg than users of the national system. The overcharging was previously set at 15% but this was overturned in court, leaving the overcharged undefined. So far this has resulted in an increase in the administrative burden and uncertainty for colleagues undergoing non-emergency care since they must first request an estimate (yes, like for work on a car) and submit it to the JSIS who then decide whether the price is acceptable. Please consult the Luxembourg CHL price list before paying any medical bill.  If you believe there may be overcharging involved, consult the PMO before paying the bill. *Update 21.11.2022 Note also that the JSIS has limitations (‘ceilings’) for reimbursement, so you might be reimbursed well below 85% of what you paid. Check out the list here, starting on p. 15.*

[2] We continue to advocate for a housing allowance, as does the CALux. A 25% boost in salary to the lowest paid might still leave them unable to afford accommodation within a reasonable commuting distance.

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