During the discussions in Brussels a few weeks ago, USHU has insisted to send
out a different note in order to clarify the situation of Local Agents, notably
explaining to HoD that flexitime may well apply for LAs as well, and that an
opposite decision must be justified by them. Unfortunately, this suggestion has
not been taken into account. Therefore, USHU invites all colleagues, and
especially Delegation Staff Representatives, to report to us all cases where
unsatisfactory or arbitrary decisions have been taken.
Please follow closely developments in this field in your Delegation!
For any Working hours / flexitime queries – send USHU a message : REP PERS OSP
Réforme du Statut et Annexe X :
NEAR introduit un recours en justice
C’est fait, les syndicats du regroupement NEAR (U4U, USHU,
R&D auxquels s'est joint la FFPE), ont saisi la Cour pour demander
l’annulation de la réforme du statut en ce qu’il modifie les dispositions de
Comme dénoncé à de nombreuses reprises, la détérioration
drastique et brutale des conditions d’emploi en Délégation, notamment en
réduisant le nombre de jours congé de 42 à 24, sans concertation préalable, ni
respect des principes les plus élémentaires du dialogue social, n’est pas
acceptable. Les Institutions sont en contradiction avec les principes qu’elles
prônent par ailleurs et avec la Charte des droits fondamentaux!
Le simulacre de négociations organisé lors de l’adoption
des DGEs n’a pas permis de faire bouger l’Administration au-delà de ses
positions dogmatiques, si ce n’est de manière symbolique et à la marge, pour les
Collègues basés dans les pays les plus éloignés ou les plus difficiles. La
majorité doit se contenter d’encaisser ce coup supplémentaire… en plus du
passage aux 40 heures, de la réforme du régime des pensions, du blocage des
carrières, des réductions des avantages financiers (billets classe économique)
etc. qui affectent tout le monde.
NEAR aura l’occasion dans sa prochaine publication de
revenir sur les arguments invoqués et faire état de l’étude comparative lancée
auprès des diplomaties nationales pour démontrer le côté inique et injustifié
des nouvelles mesures affectant le personnel en Délégation.
Il ne s’agit que d’une première étape, nous étudions la
possibilité d’attaquer le Statut sur d’autres aspects avec nos partenaires des
sur les recours...
OPEN LETTER TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The "OUTSIDE THE EU" Staff Committee ( CLP HU) representing over 3700 staff
members in Delegations calls on the European Parliament to analyse carefully the
impact of the proposed modifications to ANNEX X / STAFF REGULATIONS before the
plenary vote of 03/07
Take the time to read the testimonies below which shed much light on life in
Annex X is a package of special and exceptional provisions which is provided
to staff serving in third countries which aims to attract civil servants /
specialists and to ensure that accepting a post in a Delegation is economically
EU Staff are resilient, committed & make sacrifices on a daily basis. The
gradual erosion of Annex X will undermine all the hard work already performed on
behalf of EU taxpayers and will not strengthen EU Delegations
Members States/ International Organisations/ Specialised Development Agents
ALL recognise that living & working outside the EU is not an easy task - that
additional provisions must be applied. The current proposal will discriminate
against mothers, families, lower staff grades serving abroad.
PLEASE CONTACT THE "OUTSIDE THE EU" FOR ANY FURTHER
WE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH MORE TESTIMONIES, MORE EVIDENCE OF HOW "UNSMART" THIS
PROPOSAL TRULY IS
Do not short-change staff in EU
President "Outside the EU" / CLP HU
Elected by over3700 COMM staff members in Delegations & Offices "Outside the EU"
2nd Largest COMM Local Staff Committee
REAL LIFE TESTIMONIES
REACTIONS TO THE PROPOSED "COMPROMISE" DOCUMENT FROM COLLEAGUES IN
THINK TWICE BEFORE MAKING LIFE EVEN
FOR STAFF IN DELEGATIONS
It is important is also for divorced persons as myself. I have
to take my 5 years old child to my country where the father lives, in total 22
working days, if we pass to have only 24 working days holidays I will not be
able to spend holidays with my daughter in my country what you may be sure it is
necessary for me (not easy living abroad alone) but also will break my daughter
links with my family.
In this case, I will desperately need to find another work in
my country or in another country much closer to it. At the same time a good part
of the holidays I spent in my country with my daughter are for visits to doctors
and buying thinks which are not easy to find in xxx.
You asked to have "real life" examples, this is what I
I'm working in Delegation as an ACII. Since I arrived 2,5
years ago, I lost 14,2 % purchasing power:
- I started to work in Del since 1FEB2011. I haven't got any
index since then. In Belgium, index is + 8% compare to 2011, meaning I currently
lose 8% purchasing power monthly. In terms of figures, it represents a monthly
loss of 370€ compare to the salary I got with the LCA of 35% when I started
working here (2171€ + family & children allowances + LCA + expatriation
- Concerning the LCA, I lost 10% in 2 years (-5% in 2012 and
-5% in 2013), meaning a loss of 320€ monthly. And this is not justified at all,
as cost of living has increased drastically, electricity is more expensive than
in Europe, and medical conditions are very bad!!! Moreover, there is just
nothing to do here, no entertainment, no shopping possibilities, no standard in
telecommunication, hygiene and sanitary problems (water, food) from time to
When you add 370 to 320 €, it comes to 690 €. That's the
amount I loose every month at present compare to my situation 2 years ago!!! And
I'm just ACII. AC III, IV etc… loose more. In the future, it will go worse, as
inflation will certainly increase (Economists even fears a hyperinflation, which
would have catastrophic effects) with the freeze of salaries, and the additional
6%levy, it will simply be impossible to live decently for the lowest grades. If
this situation persist, I will lose 1000 € / month in just a few years!!! you
can easily imagine what I will have in hand with a basic salary of 2200€ / month,
being the only source of income for a family of 4 persons, with a loan at the
bank to try to own my apartment when I'm retired just to avoid to be "SDF" when
I'm 67 !!!
And if the travel allowance is now calculated on a ticket in
economy, I'll lose another 500€ / month.
If index is frozen with a salary composed of 5 figures, of
course, you can still afford a certain standard of living, but with just 2200 €,
you simply switch to poverty…
This is just not on for the values of the EU: fight against
poverty, try to create a middle income class in Africa. What a joke !!! If this
reform is voted, the middle class within the Institutions will tend to disappear,
this reality will not only occur in certain MS anymore. Our management is just
sacrificing the middle class, or just creating a new category of staff: the poor
of the Institutions. Congratulation, what a social progress! I never ever
thought to arrive at that point when I signed my contract with the Commission
just a few years ago !
I'm an ACII, assistant to the HoD; I have just an annual
seminar every 2 years now. In most of the African countries, you cannot find
everything you need for yourself and especially for your children. The only
opportunity to bring sth here without paying a fortune, even small things that
makes life easier, was to bring it from a trip to Europe (mission or holiday).
Now, with the 24 days of leave, and the cut in the travel allowance, it will
simply be impossible to go back home every year!!! And my parents cannot afford
a ticket to come to visit me here…
For the time being, I have no other choice than to ask for the
authorization for an outside activity during service (max income of 4500€ net
please allow to provide to you as background one example of a
person working at a delegation in XXX:
I live there with my family, including 4 children aged 8-13.
Even for expatriates both education and health services are
The only international school here does not have a single high school teacher.
We wanted to enroll our two oldest chidren in a boarding school in the EU but
the cost are at least 28000 Euros per child per year whereas the EU ceiling for
total school related costs is 18200 Euros per child per year. There is no
additional reimbursement or allowance if a boarding school is needed. Other
international organisations like the UN system and the US foreign service pay
for boarding schools of their staff.
Therefore we had to enroll all our children in distant
learning courses in addition to the school: there is no reimbursement of this
substantial cost of about 600 Euros per month for the children. There is also no
reimbursement of the many additional very substantial school cost such as meals,
extracurricular activities, school charges for materials used in lessons. And we
had to organise and hire private tutors to direct our childrens' work through
the distant learning course material in the evening because it is too much for
Health services: all my children need orthodontic (dental)
treatment. Food: Only some items are less expensive during summer than in
Europe. Many are substantially more expensive, e.g. milk costs 1 Euro per liter
So far, we have used the travel allowance to pay for all these
very substantial additional costs.
If not only rest leave is cut but also the travel allowance
and salary and leave, the school allowance must be raised to cover the many
actual cost that arise due to non-availability of high school teachers!
And there must be an allowance for children to receive their
mandatory orthodontic treatment! They must travel at least 3 times per year!
And given that there is no job possibility for my wife, because of EU
regulations - an offer by a project to hire her was not permitted because of EU
rules - these rules must be changed so at least the spouses can work to earn
money needed to pay for the childrens' needs.
P.S.: I forgot to mention that after the proposed cuts of the travel allowance
and salary, the consultants of our projects will be better paid than we and also
our colleagues at different international organisations we work together,
Further, I fail to understand how this severe, multiple attack
on living and working conditions – frozen pay, higher taxes, less holiday,
longer working week, lower pension, less support with housing, slower
promotion…to list but some of the more obvious deteriorations, is going to help
to build a better EEAS. Most staff in delegations have a kind of activist
approach to their work. They sincerely believe in promoting sustainable
development and democracy, defending human rights, sharing the best of European
values and communicating our European project as a model of solidarity and
intelligence in a complex, changing world. This enthusiasm and commitment is
being put at risk. This is a short sighted and foolish policy. Petty savings, at
most, are being set against the quality of our work and the long term
effectiveness of the EEAS and development cooperation. Life in Delegation can
look from the outside, and even sometimes be, fun, interesting and glamorous,
but it is also hard, often uncomfortable, sometimes dangerous and entails a
range of significant sacrifices by fine professionals, their families and even
their relationships with their partners.
What will happen is the opposite of real saving and improved performance. It is
most likely, on the contrary, that these and other proposed measures will make
working in a Delegation a distinctly less attractive option in the future,
especially for those with spouses and children or old parents in their home
I am 63 years old. In 40 years of committed work for social
justice and international development, I have never seen a proposal such as this
one that hits workers simultaneously in all the different parts of their package
of pay and benefits. It is a recipe to kill motivation and responsibility.
In disappointment, with a profound sense of having been
betrayed and despised by institutions I respected
Sorry to bother you with yet another message about this reform
of the staff regulation.
As you know, as long as they will find candidates to go to
delegations, they do not care about our well-being. As you probably heard
several times, we should not complain since we at least have kept our jobs.
Moreover, I do not think any of our colleagues is ready to give up his or her
post, even with only 24 days leave per year. Why do we anyway need holidays
since we spend all our week-ends at the beach or in our swimming-pool?
In spite of the obvious lack of resources and means in
delegation, thanks to all our efforts, thanks to all our personal investments,
sometimes even thanks to the private sacrifices made, we managed to increase the
EU achievements abroad, well beyond what all other international institutions
and MS organisations manage to do. This is of course valid for all sections.
Actually we don’t need gratitude, we only need to keep decent working
conditions, comparable to those of counterparts in MS (seconded national experts
at HQ have 30 days leave) or in other organisations funded by EU taxpayers. We
are the only international institutions funded by the EU taxpayers that are
working for their direct benefit, and we are the only ones MS are punishing. Too
much good performers?
I think that we can only adopt another approach to the new
conditions of employment. For now, we are all working much more than the 37 ½ or
even the 40 hours foreseen by the staff regulations. If any us was applying
flexi-time (I do not even know how this works), tomorrow it will be gone.
Promotions are gone as well. The working and living conditions in delegations
will have deteriorated sufficiently to attract only competition laureates (nothing
against them) or those of us who have been too long abroad to find an
interesting positions at HQ. I doubt there will be a lot of fights, with the
exception of some posts, for FCA posts in delegations where our partners often
cannot find a job, unlike our counterparts from MS.
I am of the opinion that our working conditions will only
allow us to be nice, polite and disciplined officials who will just apply the
rules, the rules and only the rules. We are now punished for having gone the
extra mile. I do not see either reasons to work more than what is foreseen by
the staff regulations, we have all done this for as long as can we all remember
only, again, to be punished.
At the end of the day, the outcome of this process is may be
not so bad. By following the new staff regulations, I will finally be able to
join my counterparts from MS for evening (read 4:00pm) joggings and parties. I
will be able to play golf or tennis over the week-ends or spend time with my
family. And when I have to go for a medical appointment I will be on sick leave,
just like any employee in Europe. Isn't this great?
I was going to forget achievements. Well, I am a fast learner.
I have always spent countless hours and efforts to get things done with high
quality and outstanding results. And I am being punished. I am not doing the
same mistake, I will not start now.
My case is similar to XXX's, except for the fact that I cannot
have my family with me because xxx is a non family post (they cannot even visit)
: as a consequence, I have a house to support in Europe too. I am sure that many
colleagues of different grades in Delegations have similar problems.
I have a child who is 10, a cut of 18 annual leave days will
affect deeply my family life...
I totaly agree with xxx and xxxx and I really think it is time
for other actions, together with strikes.
We have to make people aware that there are huge salary
differences and that these random measures have a very different impact on the
categories of staff.
Also, we should look for specific actions in delegations,
LIMIT THE CHANGES TO ANNEX X
FAMILIES WILL SUFFER
STAFF WILL LEAVE THE SERVICE
Strike on 26 June 2013
In defense of our Staff Regulations