A trade union organisation involves colleagues like you, who come together with the mission to defend the general interest of the Institution's staff (Article 10b of the Staff Regulations).
Do you know that if we do not have any members we will not exist anymore, and there will be no one around the negotiating table to defend your interests with DG HR? The more members we have and the more people who vote for us, the more representative we will be at the negotiating table, so the administration will have to listen to us.
Are you tired of receiving all those emails from professional trade unions (OSPs) that flood you with a ton of information on various topics? Maybe you have even created a computer rule to have them automatically deleted. Or maybe you do not mind, you have some reading to do when you are not too overwhelmed with work.
But first, what is a professional trade union organisation? “…What is it for? Why would I join a union and “lose” money? I do not need them anyway, I am lucky enough to have a job and get a decent salary and my working conditions are fine. Moreover, my career is moving, neither too fast, nor too slow, I cannot complain in the current economic context! ...”
It is important to remember that all these achievements were negotiated over the years with the Unions and staff representatives: without them, most of these achievements would not exist.
We must remain vigilant!
The successive reforms over the last 15 years worsened the European public service (please take the time to read the report of the European Court of Auditors published in 2019).
Several colleagues have since found themselves trapped in sometime Dantesque situations: difficulties with a new manager and a new rigid hierarchy; inappropriate and authoritarian behaviours; obligation to take up a role for which the person was not recruited and which does not match his/her experience; any form of harassment; long-term sick leave; invalidity; inaccurate evaluation reports; slowed down career; the blocking of career for AD12/AST9/ASTSC; rejected appeals, etc....
How many colleagues have had to suffer the unfair decisions of a deaf, inflexible administration that has not shown enough common sense and that urges you to pull the lever of Article 90, which pushes you, in spite of you, into the workings of a purely administrative machinery that has discouraged most of us?
In addition to all this, the health crisis has brought its own share of problems: confinement and compulsory teleworking which have cut us off from all social contacts. Work overload, no disconnection possible due to professional life’s interference with private life, new problems and difficulties ranging from physical and psychological exhaustion to burnout...
Despite the pandemic and the high risk of contamination, a new concept was born: the flexi desk or hot desking .
The office is being decentralised and employees are meeting in ephemeral places. The administration justifies the introduction of a formal nomadic office policy in the name of flexibility, efficiency and cost savings. But also by offering us the possibility of teleworking several days a week. This creates a big dilemma between those who want to continue teleworking and those who want to go back to the office. And all this is “sold” to the staff under the banner of the new Green Deal that will save the planet.
Moreover, we will not all be in the same boat with the flexi-desk: the hierarchy will enjoy benefits, unlike the rest of the staff. More space for the management, and the remaining space for ordinary people.
If you are interested in this subject, here is an article for further reading: link
Dysfunctions are still going on, leading to growing uncertainty and demotivation of Staff!
Discrimination in the recruitment due to a plethora of different statuses – trainees, contract agents, civil servants (SEC / AST / AD) with different conditions of recruitment; equal pay for equal work – all these are still far from being applied.
And, the administration, as a bulldozer, is continuing to make choices without any real social dialogue with the trade unions.
Without consultation and social dialogue with the unions and the staff representatives, no decision can be sustainable.
SAVE EUROPE urges the administration to resume consultations with the trade unions and staff associations, especially in this uncertain period, where all our work patterns are being drastically challenged.
Let us keep in mind these two quotes:
The future cannot be predicted, it must be prepared. Maurice Blondel
Let the future no longer be what will happen, but what we will do with it. Henri Bergson
We shall no longer accept the blocking of the AD/AST/AST/SC careers) and will be demanding real prospects, with a transparent evaluation system, sufficient quotas, rewarding real merit.
Let's help our contractual colleagues to preserve of acquired rights based on mobility between function groups, as well as to enhance the careers, in particular with a fair harmonisation of the reclassification.
In recent years, it has been difficult to change posts or functions within the Commission. Let's demand a real mobility policy and the implementation of job markets providing better visibility of real vacancies for all officials and all other agents.
Let us allow our colleagues who wish to do so to take early retirement without any reduction in pension rights as it was the case in the past, thus allowing our young people to be recruited in greater numbers.
Let us give more value to the experience of the over 50s by allowing them to pass on their know-how and experience and stop their stigmatisation.
Let's help our colleagues who are suffering because of an overly insistent or harassing manager and who are alone during this period of confinement.
Let's help parents who, with this crisis, find it increasingly difficult to balance their private and professional lives.
Through a common effort we can have real Human Resources policy that don't just do job management, but a real management of people, by ensuring that the right person is in the right job, in the right place!
Your voice counts and can be heard with Save Europe! We need you!
So join us and work with us by joining Save Europe, a union of volunteer colleagues!
During the meeting with Commissioner Hahn on 12 January 2021,he thanked DG HR for organising regular meetings to inform staff representatives about the COVID-19 crisis and to understand the need for an effective social dialogue. He thanked the staff representatives for their participation and recalled that staff were at the centre of his concerns.
Commissioner Hahn, thank you for listening to us in proposing an agenda for Social Dialogue. Close cooperation is crucial, especially in these times of great uncertainty.
Save Europe: facts and acts!
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, JSIS facilitates access to psychological support, by exceptionally and temporarily removing the requirement to request prior authorisation for the first 5 sessions.
- An office chair - reimbursement up to a maximum of 200 euros.
- A computer screen - reimbursement up to 150 euros maximum. Your armchair or screen must have been purchased between March 9, 2020 and June 1, 2021 (included). Delivery charges will not be refunded.
New: Interstuhl, a office furniture company, is offering preferential rates to all staff of the Commission and other EU institutions (with geographical limitations) full details and conditions of the offer here (EN and FR).
Save Europe urges the administration to inform staff about the lump sum compensatory allowance that is currently under discussion. We have been teleworking for more than a year, so it is legitimate to have an answer now. In Belgium, the tax authorities state that they take into account telework allowances of €144/month in their tax calculation
NEW Teleworking guidelines (updated 18/03/2021)
Have you say?
“I attended two wellness e-workshops. During the first workshop, the speaker told us about the usefulness of having wireless headsets/microphones so that we can move around during long meetings, to avoid muscle soreness. No luck, the "helpdesk" confirmed to me that this item is not available in the DIGIT catalogue and on the web, such a good quality helmet costs more than 100 €.
During the second workshop, the speaker told us again that having a dedicated place to work is essential - not the kitchen table or a table in the bedroom (as I have). Bad luck here, too, I cannot afford to move or build an extra room in my home and I do not believe the Commission will make funds available for this.
It’s quite frustrating that the workshops are not more "realistic" about the situation of some colleagues when giving advice. It's frustrating to be told the same things over and over again. While eating healthy and being active or breathing properly are fairly easy actions, organizing a workspace and having adequate equipment are, financially and logistically, more difficult to achieve.
I believe that we should also underline that we will not find any more or very little comfort in our work because the hot desking and the “open spaces” will project us out of our comfort zone at the office, whereas telework forces many of our colleagues in a discomfort zone at home. Ill-being at work and also at home, this is not a winning formula for either the employer or the employee.
I do not believe that I am the only one who thinks that if the Commission does not make a realistic effort to improve the comfort of teleworking, I will take the minimum number of days allowed for teleworking, because I prefer to give up some of my comfort by actually going to the office, and afterwards find serenity in my private living space. Likewise, if I have to work in an uncomfortable environment (office), I will spend as little time there as possible and therefore no more overtime and urgent cases will be accepted. 8 work hours will be 8 hours, not more.”
Issued in April 2021