USHU Flash

7 June 2016

EDUCATION ALLOWANCE /3

By Helen CONEFREY

EU DELEGATION QUITO

USHU FEEDBACK FROM RECENT DISCUSSIONS IN BRUSSELS / 23-27 May

 

EUDEL will meet on Thursday 9 June the "Education Allowance" is on the Agenda

 

USHU TRULY THANKS ALL INDIVIDUALS, DELEGATIONS & HEADS of DELEGATION

 

who have already sent detailed & precise information to EEAS/COMM at HQ on the real impact of the proposed changes for
staff members.  Your country-specific data is vital & demonstrates unequivocally that the impact will be
substantial in many countries and for staff with several children

USHU elected members to the CLP HU ( COMM "Outside the EU" Section of the Central Staff Committee) ensured that the Education Allowance issue was firmly on the Agenda of the recent plenary in Brussels from 23-25 May and also requested this issue be included on the CCP (COMM Central Staff Committee ) plenary agenda of 26-27 May

USHU members, presented a range of arguments to both COMM & EEAS Management members, indicating that the Education Allowance is a pivotal issue for all staff in Delegations and that there needs to be a clear dialogue on the proposed changes which has taken staff by surprise and is perceived as yet another attempt to weaken working conditions in Delegations.

USHU once again insisted on the unfairness of the proposed changes to the Education Allowance ; claiming to treat all staff equally when fully knowledgeable that some have no children of school age, others have one or several children of school age is clearly not the right approach and indefensible

USHU has no doubts that the latest measures will have a direct impact on ROTATION for Officials & COMPULSORY MOBILITY for Contract Agents some staff is already calling for a boycott of the 2017 exercises until the situation concerning the Education Allowance is clarified. All parents need to guarantee that any posting in a 3rd country will ensure quality education for their children within reasonable limits otherwise they will be unwilling/ categorically refuse to go to certain destinations despite possessing an excellent and relevant profile.  Clearly it is not in the interest of the service for staff to limit themselves to certain countries only, due primarily to the proposed changes in the Education Allowance!

USHU insists on a more gradual introduction of any changes concerning the "excess/top-up" to ensure that staff's legitimate expectations on accepting a post in Del are respected.  Staff currently in post were fully unaware of the proposed changes and are not in a position to move their children elsewhere. The suggestion to request an early rotation/mobility cannot be considered the best possible institutional response as it will only create more instability, more mobility, more costs!

USHU has received comprehensive information from colleagues that demonstrates unambiguously that certain language regimes are penalized more than others the EU must ensure that all EXPATS have access to the appropriate language regime and are treated equally parents are not in a position to move their children from an EN/DE school to a FR school or any other during a posting

USHU has reiterated to all the importance of pre-school education (Type A) and the need to find a reasonable solution for staff who have already indicated that such fees can also be very high in 3rd countries USHU does not need to elaborate further on the received wisdom of the essential nature of pre-school education

USHU requests the EEAS/COMM once again to engage in conversation with higher-cost educational establishments in 3rd countries ( as several Member States do ) and ensure preferential rates for EU staff

THE CAPITAL LEVY/INVESTMENT FEE :

USHU has requested Management to reinstate the previous rules that were in force

Capital levies are non-returnable - they simply cannot be borne by many staff members

proposed additional costs are unsustainable for lower-paid staff and for those under OBLIGATORY Mobility

 

USHU has contacted COMM/EEAS TRADE UNIONS, asking them to UNITE on this issue

 

USHU advocates for fair working policies

EEAS/COMM should enable staff with children to continue

to serve in Delegations and to ensure a truly cohesive & inclusive approach as per EU values!

 

USHU Bureau Executive: Helen CONEFREY (President), Victoria DAVYDOVA (General Secretary), Siggi KRAHL (Political Secretary), Jordi CARRASCO-MUNOZ, Noel KAMDEN, Alessandro LIAMINE, Aminata ONGOIBA, Ugo SOKARI-GEORGES, Dimitrije STANKOVIC; Diego GONZALEZ MARIN (Vice President)


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