On endorsing the flawed promotion system: amnesia at the staff committee

Selective amnesia is a useful thing to keep at hand, not only in politics but also in the staff representation. At the October plenary of the Central Staff Committee some of our colleagues were kind enough to remind us of this fact.

What happened? Well, a little context first: as was already done in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 etc., several members of the Joint Promotion Committee (JPC) abstained in the votes on the final outcome of this year’s promotion exercise. Those members were convinced (as indeed they have long been convinced and clearly said so in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 etc.) that the promotion exercise as a whole is still fraught with too many shortcomings and flaws for them to accept its results unconditionally. Therefore, they chose not to endorse its global results despite the fact that they participated actively in, and agreed to, the work of the AD and AST working groups. After all, during the appeals phase, these working groups only ever have at their disposal 5% of all promotion possibilities, 95% having been decided already by the directors-general .

Those who are strongly criticising these abstentions have conveniently forgotten, or so it seems, that Generation 2004 is doing nothing more than consistently upholding a position that it has been taking for years and that it has no reason to modify substantially. The promotion exercise still has no institution-wide comparison of merit there are still quotas for each DG, which is incompatible with such an institution-wide comparison of merit, and there are of course still appraisal reports that are of insufficient quality and content to allow for meaningful comparisons.

Incidentally, these very same points were repeatedly highlighted by the Central Staff Committee in the past but recognising that and the implications of that would of course look odd if defamation is what you’re after at the end of the day. Remember what we said about the usefulness of selective amnesia? Needless to say, if the director-general of DG HR, Ms Ingestad, takes the recommendations of the ad hoc working group of staff and HR representatives seriously (a working group she herself briefly chaired before becoming director-general of DG DIGIT), the situation would be reassessed.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact us

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