Where there is a will, there is a way! (at least for the chosen ones)

Generation 2004 has a confession to make… Due to the long and unfair fight with the Commission (EC) administration to rectify the differences between pre- and post-2004 staff employment conditions, we were ready to give-up, turn off the lights and close the shop. It is not easy to fight battles against a pre-2004 biased administration with a hierarchy still composed in the vast majority of pre-2004 staff. Therefore, it was only natural that our motivation had ebbed…

The graph is somewhat conservative with regard to the comparison of pre- and post- 2004 careers, insofar as the length of the career ‘delay’ of the 2004 reform depends on which equivalent recruitment grades are being compared.There is a two grade delay (equivalent to 6 years of promotions) for those recruited post-2004 at AD5 or AD6. However if a post-2004 recruitment grade of AD7 is compared to its pre-2004 equivalent of AD10, then a larger career delay of three grades, (equivalent to 10 years of promotions) applies.

For the AST function group, the delay caused by the 2004 reform is for two grades (equivalent to 6 years of promotions) regardless of starting grade.

Then recently, and truly unexpectedly, we got the greatest boost in confidence we could have possibly asked for… This, we are not kidding, brought tears of joy to our eyes and came to us with a name: Martin Selmayr. A post- 1st May 2004 recruit!

Martin Selmayr’s appointment as Secretary General of the EC administration comes to prove how wrong and unfair we have been all along in our struggle against injustice and for unity of all EC staff. His appointment comes to show that it is possible for post-2004 staff to be fairly treated, and, in the process, even to make pre-2004 staff feel like victims of injustice… How about that?!

After all these years, it was heartening to see that the EC Human Resources administration, (with a bit of help from the college!) finally got it right, for one post-2004 colleague at least. It also showed all post-2004 and post-2014 colleagues that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that our careers do not always need to stay behind those of our pre-2004 reform colleagues. (See graph).

On average, however, colleagues recruited after May 2004 are still way behind colleagues from before the 2004 reform in terms of their career; and let us not even mention about the 2014 reform, which made things even worse.

Until now, our pre-2004 colleagues, have repeatedly told us that it is impossible to tackle these issues and that we just have to live with it. However, we believe that there is a solution to this problem. In fact, Generation 2004 is the only staff association addressing this issue, and has proposed concrete measures to resolve it:

  • Accelerate lower grade careers. Young and recently recruited colleagues are the ones who most suffer from the imbalance caused by the last two reforms and the administration should help them first. Here at Generation 2004 we call it solidarity.
  • Stop artificially prolonging high grade AD careers of staff reaching retirement age, (including those of trade union staff!) We have a wealth of young and energetic talent ready to deliver.
  • Stop handing out large number of AD13 posts to so-called ‘senior experts’ who are largely doing the same work as the rest of us.

Where there is a will, there is a way. This is the way. Unfortunately, the people in charge up until now have had a pre-2004-compromised will. Nevertheless, we will still expect fair careers, fair pay and fair pensions for all colleagues of all EU institutions and not just for a few chosen ones.

Finally, let us return to Secretary General Selmayr’s case one last time. At Generation 2004, we believe that even if the proceedings of his appointment are valid from a legal point of view, there are still a number of issues to be resolved. In this regard, we rely primarily on the European Parliament inquiry to shed the final light on the matter. However, the issues raised suggest that our dear institution’s leadership has perhaps temporarily misplaced its moral compass… In this context, giving lessons to some Member States on the rule of law might seem a lot more hypocritical.

Overall, though, please rest assured – we are committed as ever to keep up our fight to be first-class and not second-class members of staff, even if we had the mischance of being hired on or after May 1st 2004.

You have been already bombarded by many e-mails from trade unions on this subject. But did you know that G2004 was the only one to propose a note to be sent by the Central Staff Committee (CSC)? The appointment of the Secretary General falls under the responsibility of the Staff representation and thus it is the obligation of the CSC to act.  Our intention was to clarify the procedure of Mr Selmayr’s appointment. However, such request was not supported by the CSC.

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