Home
Program
Staff in Delegations
Local Agents
Contract Agents
Information
Who we are
Join USHU

Staff in Delegations

BECOME A LOCAL DELEGATION STAFF REPRESENTATIVE (DSR)

Vidéo : USHU/RS : Working in delegations: challenges & difficulties

Education allowance for expats

Regionalisation of administrative tasks (oct 2016)

Education allowance - flash info (October 2016)

Education allowance for expats (update) - flash info (June 2016)

Education allowance for expats (update) - flash info (May 2016)

Education allowance for expats - flash info (April 2016)

Flexitime

Flexi-Time in Delegations - Flash info October 2016

There seems to be some ambiguity concerning the application of flexitime in Delegations, especially for Local Agents given the new EEAS Decision on Working Time.

As you all already know, flexitime was introduced in Delegations in April 2007. ALL CATEGORIES OF STAFF in Delegations can opt to follow flexi-time and already hundreds of Local Agents in Delegations have been applying flexitime over the past seven years.

The 'EU Delegation's Guide' clearly indicates the full application of Flexitime to the Local agents. The principles contained in the 'Guide to Flexitime' (SEC(2006)1796) apply also to local agents in Delegations.

As of 01/01/2014 , the working hours of expatriate staff in EEAS/Commission were increased to 40 hrs a week, whereas this is not applicable to Local agents who continue to work 37.5 hrs/week. Indeed there may well be discussions in respective Delegations concerning core hours, however, in principle there is no need to change already established core hours for Local Agents, since their working time has not changed as a result of the new Staff Regulations.

USHU therefore emphasises that the application and access to flexitime is available to any staff category, and is FULLY APPLICABLE to Local Agents in Delegations.

Denial of flexitime can only be based on ' those organisational entities or individual posts whose operational needs are incompatible with flexible working arrangements. (Ares Note 2156025 dtd 30.6.2014).

USHU would like to reiterate that Flexitime is an option and accessible to ALL CATEGORIES OF STAFF working in Delegations – any refusal must be fully justified and approved by Headquarters.

Working time and flexitime

USHU has received complaints from staff members indicating that it is unclear which rules are actually governing the working hours and flexitime in Delegations.

Finally, the EEAS has taken a decision. Together with the decision, EEAS issued as well an instruction note (ARES(2014)2156025, dated 30/06/2014). In principle, in Delegations the same rules apply as in EEAS HQ, but the HoD has the possibility to propose, after consultation of the Delegation Staff Representatives, different working time schedules, to be approved by HQ.

However, as far as Local Agents are concerned, the instructions are far from being clear. Only 2 § speak vaguely about this category of staff:

bullet

The 40-hour working week does not apply to Local Agents in Delegations whose weekly working hours remain unchanged and continue to be regulated by the terms of their contracts and the Specific Conditions of Employment for each Delegation.

bullet

Heads of Delegations should take the necessary measures to ensure that the working hours of the Local Agents serve the interests of the service in the best possible manner, depending on the particular needs and possibilities in each Delegation.

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 USHU

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 l’Annexe X.

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 Institutions.

Plus d'informations 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 a Delegation

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 viable.

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 INFORMATION
WE CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH MORE TESTIMONIES, MORE EVIDENCE OF HOW "UNSMART" THIS PROPOSAL TRULY IS

Do not short-change staff in EU Delegations !

Helen Conefrey
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 DELEGATIONS

THINK TWICE BEFORE MAKING LIFE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT
FOR STAFF IN DELEGATIONS

________________________________________
TESTIMONY 1

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.

TESTIMONY 2

You asked to have "real life" examples, this is what I experience:

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 allowance)

- 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 time, etc…

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 per year).

TESTIMONY 3

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 extremely poor.
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 one mother.

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 etc.

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,

TESTIMONY 4

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 country.

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

TESTIMONY 5

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.

TESTIMONY 6

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, worldwide.

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

Tirana

Manila

Hanoï


Page last modified on 30/10/2017

Contact us