Call for common sense: the importance of what is important

Collectif des Contractuels may have written their recently launched “list of demands” in a hurry, asking for a few random things, without debate, and making the following errors:

1) It promotes confusion between staff categories, intensifying divisions: we all know that CA3a staff have different needs and requirements than CA3b staff, TA and ENDs. Only CA3b staff is facing complete and irresponsible exclusion from labour market. However, this urgency is not assessed constructively. We wonder why?

2) It does not promote a minimum job security for existing staff, based on current reserve lists, merits, professional experience and skills. Instead, it talks extensively about new recruits. We wonder why?

3) At point 6 CC asks for “reclassification” opportunities after 3 years of service. What are the solutions proposed for staff with 5+ and 9+ years of service facing automatic/ artificial exclusion from the labour market? A serious and committed union should promote transparency, quality indicators, appropriate measurements/ performance evaluation and fairness for all, recognising the true value of professional experience/ skills and merits

4) At point 10 CC should say more about pension rights of the automatically excluded staff right before they reach 10 years of service! The current system is making people – only those recruited after 2004 – to lose their pension rights in the 9th+ year of service, in a strange way, whereas the pensions of staff recruited before 2004 are very, very, very well secured!)

5) It does not promote equal access to internal vacancies based on reserve lists, skills, qualifications/experience and diplomas. In addition, it offers an insufficiently defined public image of the CAs. The latter are rather described as ALL belonging to just one category, one function group and just one academic branch. Is this normal?
N.B. During the EP’s public hearing of 22 November 2017 even a top official representing the employer (DG HR) used a very similar, confusing “description model” in front of the European Parliament, EU staff and EU citizens, leading to inaccurate and inconsistent conclusions of probably the most legitimate and transparent debate in CA history. 
Is this similarity of discourse between the unions (CC included) and DG HR  a simple coincidence?

6) It promotes inconsistencies and does not discuss vital issues such as social dialogue rules which is the main blockage against CA participation in social dialogue. It does not discuss the consequences of keeping the CAs away from the social dialogue

7) It takes internal and inter-union decisions about CAs, publishing positions on behalf of the CAs, and represents the CAs in relation with the employer and other unions, without listening to the CA requests. All the petitions and open letters produced by CAs in period 2015-2017 were thoroughly ignored and this is perfectly measurable in the current GIPs for CAs, finally adopted last summer

8) Most members of the CC are not CAs. They belong to staff categories with opposite interests (mainly staff recruited before 2004) encouraging a HR policy which deepens more and more these differences. At the same time, it promotes the complete exclusion of experienced CA3b staff from labour market and it writes positively about the theoretic unity of the civil service. Is this normal?

9) Members of CC, together with other unions, promote together “trading” of training materials and services across the EU Administration instead of promoting free access of all staff to these training materials needed in both internal and external competitions. This may lead to important conflict of interests when it comes to negotiating “the end of precarisation” on behalf of CAs. If the “precarious class” will ever end, then who will continue to buy their products and services?

10) CC does not talk at all about ILO 98 Art2. In fact, its (non CA) members, together with the other unions at the EC (except SID) benefit from the generous “resource package” offered by the employer, in spite of the fact that all the EU Member States signed this fundamental Convention, since 1951. According to this Fundamental Convention, employers are forbidden to pay benefits or/and other privileges to unions, precisely to prevent conflict of interests

11) CC does not talk about functional representation, geographical representation or gender balance in Central Staff Committee or Local Staff Committee. In fact, for so many years already, it had never created a Working Group or Delegation dedicated to CAs’ extremely precarious situation on the labour market (especially health issues caused by working conditions) in any of these important entities. We wonder why?

12) Neither the CC nor the other unions nor the Local or Central Staff Committee seem to have ever demanded a proper investigation into the death of a CA3b colleague who may have been the victim of excessive stress caused by his automatic rejection from labour market, after many years (more than 3!) of faithful service: he died during the first night of his last work day….

Perhaps the Collectif, as much as any other friendly union, needs to allow more CAs amongst its members, including at debate & decision level, to correct these important errors in the list of demands which, at the moment, insults the common sense. Perhaps it is not too late to improve the list and include what actually matters to staff, in most measurable terms (e.g. in which world “reclassemenet” for CA3b is more important than preventing total and unfair exclusion from labour market in the presence of unexploited, valid reserve lists?)

We cannot expect realistic and on target solutions for CAs without the CAs being involved in this important work. Or…can we?


Brussels, 23 March 2018

Contribute to this Study until the end of April 2018 by secret voting!
Answer to 10 individual polls and follow their results live.