Welcome to ‘The Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest

*Deadline update: Friday 14 May*

Still working at the kitchen table after 13 months? Your bills increased exponentially? Cannot afford a decent home office with your salary?

If all of this sound familiar, it is time to participate in our photography contest!

Send us pictures of your home office set-up, your bills before and after compulsory teleworking started or invoices for furniture and other materials you had to buy to be able to telework. And, for those of us with a relatively low salary, please send also a picture of your payslip (censored as necessary, otherwise we will do it for you) to remind the administration that not everybody is receiving a high salary and can enjoy the luxury of a large house with separate spaces for telework and living comfortably.

Your pictures will be published on our website – always anonymised to respect your privacy – to help the administration take a reality check on the actual working conditions of Commission staff. The 3 best pictures will receive the highly-coveted Generation 2004 ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ 2021 medals.

In spite of our many requests during the last 13 months, the administration is still in denial about the difficulties of many colleagues who lack the appropriate space or adequate conditions to work at home. So, based on surveys indicating that people want to telework – but do not specify under what kind of rules and conditions – it is proceeding without any proper consultation on its project to reduce its costs by shifting them onto the workers [1]. In fact, we have not yet received a single reply addressing our multiple requests for reimbursement of additional expenses linked to teleworking or a lump sum – following the example set by the European Parliament.

Adding insult to injury, when we pointed out that colleagues with the lowest salaries and the most precarious working conditions are disproportionately impacted by the obligation to telework and constantly growing costs, we were told that all Commission staff have very good salaries. At Generation 2004 we are very well aware that this is not the case!

Send us your pictures by Friday 14 May to participate in the ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ photography contest and – as usual – contact us if you have any comments or questions.

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[1] Added 04.05.2021: [bold is not present in originals]

‘…equipment: as a general rule, the employer is responsible for providing, installing and maintaining the equipment necessary for regular telework unless the teleworker uses his/her own equipment. The employer has the liability, in accordance with national legislation and collective agreements, regarding costs for loss and damage to the equipment and data used by the teleworker’ Framework agreement on telework, 17.05.2005.

An official shall be entitled, as provided in Annex VII, to reimbursement of expenses incurred by him on taking up appointment, transfer, or leaving the service, and also to expenses incurred by him in the course of or in connection with the performance of his duties. (Staff Regulations, Article 71)’

In order to try to be reimbursed for any costs  other than a screen and chair, you must file a formal Article 90.1 request to the appointing authority: here is a template for you to use. After you have completed it and have scanned your receipts, please send everything to HR and let us know how you get on.

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