FAQ on membership

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Why should I join ?

Why joining U4U ?

To deal with the constant attacks against the statute, to fight against the institutionalization of job insecurity, to protest against the downgrading of our working conditions, us, the staff, must be strong and needs to rally together.

That is why we urge you to join U4U now. We need members that will support us; we need members to help us develop our positions and to carry out our actions.

Without your strong and determined membership we have limited influence as a union. The more we are united, the stronger we are and the more we are ready to rally people together.

We are an organisation that is non-bureaucratic, assertive, creative and full of fighting spirit. We do however need to draw more people together, to rally ever more colleagues in order to be even more efficient. This is impossible without your help, so please do not hesitate to become one of our members.

Is U4U able to support me if I have a problem ? Yes, please find here the description of our services.

We defend the collective interests of all colleagues, regardless of their status. We also support the individual interests of our colleagues, ensuring that rules are applied correctly and fairly, including during the promotion process, annual evaluation, sickness refunds, etc...

We also assist colleagues who have a difficulty in their professional life.

I am already member of other associations, can I join ? U4U is a united platform of reflection and concerted action that draws on a network of groups present throughout the Directorate Generals. Membership in U4U is compatible or even complementary with other activities, trade unions or political associations.
I am already active in an Action Group which is sponsored or supported by U4U, can I join ? Yes, of course, you will be in a better position for influencing our policy.
I feel disconnected from the Unions and I am not sure the Unions recognize my worries. Why should I join one ? Unions are made up of the people who want to have their voice heard, their interests promoted, their claims presented to the employers.

In other words, if one wishes to be represented and his interests protected, he should join this union and better, participate actively in it. Our strength is coming from our membership and from no other source.

Joining U4U helps to :
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reinforce our legitimacy

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ensure our independance and our financial autonomy

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strenghten our actions and, if you involve yourself actively, increase our pool of competences

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show solidarity with all your colleagues, regardless of their status

I do not want to be a passive member. How can I join the fight ? You can help us in many different ways : being a contact person in a DG or an institution, being active in an Action group (or even create one), take topical responsibilities, write for our newsletters, etc...

The best is to contact a manager and to have a face to face discussion. In any case, our structure is not rigid, we welcome newcomers.

Will my voice be heard in U4U ? All members can come to our meetings that are announced on our home page and participate in them. No red tape, no conditions... all members are part of the team !
Your communication is mainly in French, why don't you use other European languages ? We do, all our communications are translated into English, but obviously we need to improve. This is why, if you are fluent in other languages, you will be extra useful ! Do not hesitate to join and to help us to use more languages.
Your membership fee is very low compared to other trade-unions, why it is so ? We want to represent and fight for all categories of staff, including those who do not enjoy a high salary.

We try to keep costs as low as possible, using IT for efficient communication. We do not distribute gadgets (pen, mugs, calendars...), we do not publish on glossy paper (it helps us to keep a low carbon footprint), we rely on voluntary work, in other words we try to be lean but combative.

Who can apply for membership ?

I am an END, can I apply ?

Yes, all persons working for the institutions can join regardless of their status (contract agent, temporary, parliamentary assistant, interim contractů).
I am working for the EEAS, can I apply ? Yes, all persons working for any European institutions can join.

Process

How can I apply for membership ?

Please fill in this form
and it is done ... !
Will I receive a membership card ? No, we are trying to keep the administrative overhead minimal. You will receive a welcoming message giving you some information about this trade-union.
Can I resign from U4U ? Yes, send an e-mail to contact@u4unity.eu Please take time to explain why you want to leave us, it might help us to improve.

Payment

How much do I have really to pay ? You can choose between two types of fees : normal or sponsor. Please refer here for their description.

I would like to join but how do I pay? do I just send this membership form / bank authorization and you will take it from my bank account automatically?

Yes. The SEPA domiciliation is a secured system initially promoted by the European Commission. The 'debtor' stays in control of his bank account as he can ask for the refund to his own bank.
Can I join without signing a bank authorisation ? Yes, don't indicate your IBAN code but please pay your membership fee into our bank account.
What is a SEPA form (domiciliation) ? It is a document that authorizes the trade-union to withdraw from your account the membership fee and the price of any service you subscribe to, such as training.
How can I pay if my bank is not part of the SEPA scheme ? Pay by bank transfer into our bank account.
Where do I find my IBAN code ? On your bank extract of account or, if you have an online account, on your web personal page. Be extra careful when copying this code, any error will lead to the rejection of the form.

I have received this message : Sorry, your request cannot be processed for the following reason : Invalid IBAN code. What does it mean ?

Your form is incorrectly filled in, you should send it again.

When my bank account will be debited ?

Normally, a week after your registration.
The form refers to a bank account for U4U that is different from the bank account described in a blue box. Which one is correct ? The SEPA ID is not a bank account but corresponds to the authorization to use the SEPA system. The bank account in the blue box is the correct one.
The form indicates that it is a 'recurring' order ? why ? Your membership fee will be automatically renewed, unless you resign from this trade-union.

Strikes

Most "collective bargaining" takes place quietly and agreements are eventually reached by the union and the employer. Occasionally disagreements do occur and the two sides cannot agree. In these cases, the union may decide to take industrial action.

Are there some rules defining strikes in the Commission ? There is a Framework Agreement between the Commission and the staff unions which lays down the rules. Article 36 provides that "the signatory representative organisations involved shall serve notice of any concerted work stoppages."
Will participating to a strike expose me to disciplinary measures ? Article 42 says that "Staff choosing to strike shall be free to do so without let or hindrance." That means that those who participate in the strike have nothing to fear.

However, the Commission will deduct 1/30th of your monthly salary per day of strike (Unless an agreement is reached between the parties as a conclusion to the disagreement, expressly providing that days of strike will be paid).

What happens if I choose not to participate ? Article 43 stipulates that "during the concerted work stoppage, staff choosing not to strike shall be free to do so without let or hindrance."
May I be called to work by my employer, independently of my choice ? Only colleagues who are officially required to come to work because of their responsibilities for the safety of persons and property are obliged to work. The list of those colleagues is drawn up by DG HR in consultation with the Unions.
Must I be unionized to strike ? No. Everybody is welcome to join a strike.
Is there a Solidarity Fund that may reimburse my salary losses, in total or in part ? No.

However, when an action is foreseen to involve many work days and/or particularly affect a category of staff, a Solidarity Fund might be established. The Rules for this Fund, including the eligibility for a refund, are defined and published at this occasion.

Must all Unions agree for deciding on a strike ? No. Some unions may call for a strike and others not.

Disagreeing is a normal stance in political matters, including staff representation. Unions may not agree on the diagnostic of the situation, on the best form of a protest, on the objectives of a strike or its timing...

Ultimately, each staff member has to make his own choice, after listening to all reasons presented to him.

Why can't all unions unite in defence of staff interests ? For the same reason not all political parties unite in defence of citizens' interests. They represent various interests, they are motivated by various philosophical choices.

However, U4U (Union for Unity) has been created to try to overcome divisions, as far as possible, and to promote common actions, common fronts, common objectives ... This is why we disseminate widely our analyses and try to build unity on some objectives that all can share, including strikes, of course !

 

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