One year on, what’s happening with the 12 actions for Luxembourg?

*Update 28.06.2023: no mention of the 12 actions in the 9 Corporate Management Board meetings since the last update (September 2022). No published output found for interinstitutional taskforce on hospital pricing (expected end 2022). We’re following up with the Local Staff Committee.*

Original article: We’ve been following the 12 actions to address the difficulties of recruiting staff in Luxembourg since they were announced 30.03.2022 by the Heads of Administration (Chefs d’Administration) of EU institutions and bodies based in Luxembourg (CALux). We revisited them at 6 months, again at 9 months and here we on the cusp of the first anniversary of the announcement and we can find nothing measurable, concrete or visible to show for this year, in spite of the September 2022 declaration that ‘progress was made‘.

We note also that with the move of the Publications Office (OP) and DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) into the new Mercier/Post building, putting a further c.20% of Luxembourg staff (nearly 800 colleagues) into ‘dynamic, collaborative’ spaces (called open-plan hot-desking outside the Commission), Luxembourg risks becoming even less attractive for recruitment and retention.

Disappointingly, the latest Corporate Management Board minutes make no mention of any of the 12 actions. We asked about it in the comments, but have not yet received a response. Maybe in the minutes of the next meeting (April 2023) we will have a year of updates? The local staff committee of Luxembourg is aware of this lack of information and proposes to chase up on the actions one by one (plenary 23.01.2023).

The last status we have then is from the minutes of the 29.09.2022 meeting (point 4) 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

We acknowledge that it is possible that the progress was more substantial than the impression given in these notes, nevertheless the evidence for this is rather thin. We declare ourselves to be underwhelmed.

Note that we are unable to find the first results of the PMO-led interinstitutional taskforce to address hospital pricing in Luxembourg (not one of the 12 action items, but yes, a long-standing issue [1]) (expected end 2022).

To all Luxembourg-based colleagues, please check the financial aid offered by the state to those on low incomes: many of our colleagues will be eligible.

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 a whole year, 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. 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.*

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