No Xy Lo


The letter of the reforming Trade Union

22/03/2010 #5

xyloglossie : n.f. [pédant, humour] nom parodique donné plaisamment à la langue de bois

Version française déjà envoyée, disponible ici ÉDITO
Such a lovely Trade Union Spring 
Dear colleagues,

An icy Spring and so many scorching issues!

Your Trade Union, U4U, will be kept busy, committed and mobilised with the External Service, the impending restructuring in the different services, the reform of the REC/CDR, the salary adjustment, recruitments, health insurance, European Schools and so on. There are so many open fronts with so many important questions to be addressed.

These concern each and every one of us. They refer to many important areas of our working conditions. They require each and every one's conscious commitment and participation.

NoXyLo in its 5th edition keeps you informed about some of these pending files. It also emphasizes our commitment to be near our members by listing the names of our representatives in each DG.

You see, we kept our promise to be near our members, listen to them and be clear and concise and … of course NoXyLo. Listening thus carefully to our colleagues and the voice of our conscience, we defend energetically the trade union promise we gave you.

Join U4U, the reforming Trade Union that aims to be clear, concise and near its members at all times.

To become a member:

If you wish to support an independent organisation that aims to analyse and clarify situations to allow you to properly defend your rights, join U4U, the reforming trade union of clarification and nearness.

The annual subscription of 5 or 50 Euro should be transferred to the account of our Treasurer, Jean-Paul Soyer (377-0085561-44) with the indication "subscription "U4U 2010"



The Method:  Should we go against the Commission ?


You have without doubt seen circulating model appeals addressed to the Commission, appealing against your salary slip and the non implementation of the method.

U4U consulted its legal team and based on their opinion, we suggest that it would be better not to file such appeals as they may prove counter-productive

In fact, the Commission introduced an appeal in the Court of Justice in order to obtain the cancelling of the Council's Regulation which adjusts salaries as from 1st July 2009.  This appeal is correct as it demands the reimbursement of the owned money, including interests.

Consequently, all appeals against the same issue will be suspended, awaiting the Court's decision to the Commission's appeal.  The solution adopted by the Court will then be implemented by the Tribunal.  Finally, an eventual favourable decision will be applied for the totality of the staff.

Such appeals are therefore useless in the best of cases, and harmful, in the worst.  In fact, they could have a negative impact:  first of all by clogging up the relevant services and affecting thus other more legitimate appeals and then because they can be used by the press for a new campaign against our salaries; finally, they show a wrong understanding of the Commission's action.  The Commission, in fact, defended the rightful claims of its staff and needs our unanimous support.

It is never innocent or benign to use legal instruments to serve political interests.  To give in to publicity moves is not certainly the way U4U acts.

  The Commission's appeal concerning the Method:  The first reaction of the Court.   

The Court of Justice decided not to accept the urgency of the salaries file.  It is possible that there will be no decision on this issue before the beginning of 2011.



Open Competitions: EPSO launches the new open competitions

The Open Competition AD5 generalists was published on 16 March 2010.  In addition, more specialised open competitions will be published mid-April.  Open Competitions for linguists are planned for July 2010 and the ones for AST for December 2010.

 EPSO should also organise in June 2010 a new CAST for contractual agents in the following domains:

·         Secretaries

·         Financial Management

·         Nursery teachers/nurses.

The next specialised open competitions that should be published are the following:

·         Security of Information Systems – AD7

·         Competition Law – AD 8

·         Economics of Industrial Organisations

·         Liabrarians / information scientists - AD8

·         Audiovisual – AD5

U4U will keep you informed.

  CDR/REC:  DG RH proposes changes in the appeal procedure  


As you without doubt know, last year's CDR/REC system will also be used for this year's exercise despite the displeasure of the majority of our colleagues including the hierarchy.

U4U worked with other trade unions to set up a Trade Union majority which proposed modifications to globally improve the system for 2010, before its eventual redefinition.  DG HR refused these proposals and launched an interservice consultation to only change the appeal phase of the REC/CDR.

DG HR's proposal is as follows:

·         Dialog with the counter signing officer before filing an appeal;

·         Possibility of a dialog with the counter signing officer, the RRH representative or the reporting officer before the appeal phase;  this possibility does not suspend the deadline for the filing of an appeal;

·         In the promotion committees, the president designated by the administration would be able to vote in case of equal vote;

·         The appeal phase will be in two phases; first against the report (evaluation) and then against the points (promotion);

·         The evaluation of the promotion appeals will again be centralised to ensure a better comparison of merits.

Even if the principles of this revision of procedure of REC/CDR could be accepted (centralised treatment), some of the modalities are contested by the totality of the trade unions which are at present negotiating a revision of DG HR's proposal.

In addition, we think that it is contestable to change the appeal procedure whilst some colleagues are already outside the deadlines to launch it.  From a legal point of view, our legal advisers consider that the totality of the procedure should have been consolidated at the moment that the exercise was launched.

  External Service:  where are we ?  

Today it seems probable that the Commission is envisaging for SEAE to be an organisation outside the Commission and this despite the expressed wishes of the EP.  However, the legal form of this organisation is not clear.  Would it be an agency, with an administrative board made up from the Commission and the Member States?  It is difficult to say as the Commission remains extremely silent about its choices, if they exist!

Sure, the VP/HR will be AIPN in personnel matters, but all the same, the planned Statute revision which the Commission is in the process of working on, will allow it to decide the AIPN delegation in a large number of domains, excluding though the nominations, promotions and mutations. In which domains these delegations are going to be given?  To whom?  Probably to the Commission.  In what form?  Probably as Service Level Agreements.

The perimeter of the SEAE is not yet defined.  If, for the Delegations, the staff working on Commission tasks remains with the Commission and the staff that works SEAE tasks remains in this organisation, the perimeter of the services concerned in the Commission is still not very clear.  What happens to the planning function?  What happens to RELEX K which actually manages the Delegations?

The system's governance is not clear either.  The contract duration of the Temporary Agents proposed (AT 2(e)) is still under discussion. The question of the career development of our diplomat colleagues has not been thought through:  What will happen to them after the eight years foreseen in the Statute reform?  The conditions under which colleagues from the Commission and the Council will return to their institutions are not guaranteed anymore.  The same is true with the rotation of the contractual agents.

The mobility of colleagues to EEAS appears that it should not be done on a voluntary basis.  It is at the moment based on the functions.  If these tasks are moved away from the Commission, the people working on them also move to EEAS.  What happens if a colleague does not wish to move?  Nothing has been decided yet about setting up an Accompanying Committee for the transfer of the colleagues who are not happy with their situation.

Finally, we should still verify in what way the new Statute reform could operate in order to avoid all unnecessary changes by the Council and in order to have the guarantee that in case of serious changes on the Commission's proposal, the Commission will withdraw it using is institutional prerogatives.

U4U is defending the idea that the establishment of EEAS should be done in the framework of the Commission, as one of the Commission's services.  In this case, the Statute reform will not be necessary.  It appears though that the Member States do not share this opinion.

If the Commission gives in and this approach is confirmed, our objective will be to maintain EEAS as near as possible to the Commission and to keep changes in the Statute to the absolute minimum necessary.


  Are our medical expenses reimbursements going to be reduced ?  


We recently obtained an increase in the reimbursement of our medical expenses and particularly dental and optical (glasses) expenses.

In October 2009, the PMO presented a project showing a structural deficit, asking for an increase in the payments to the health insurance and/or a decrease in the reimbursement of medical expenses.

U4U proceeded in an analysis of the figures and concluded that this deficit is cannot be proven for 2009 and that all changes in reimbursements or payments should be based on solid analyses of figures and tendencies.

Our representatives in the PMO board managed to obtain the setting up of a working group which will present its conclusions in June 2010.

The PMO just published a new analysis that shows that the expenses increase was purely circumstantial.  It is important to see therefore whether 2009 will have a surplus or a deficit.  According to our analysis, there would be a balance and this despite the decision of the Member States not to apply the statutory requirements for the increase of our salaries.

Our delegates were determined and competent.  They will continue to defend the rights of the personnel in this very sensitive dossier.

  Contact points of U4U in the different DGs  


As we promised, U4U has representatives in each DG.

The list of representatives and contact points of U4U in each DG is as follows:

  • AIDCO: Jacques Prade
  • AGRI: Tomás García Azcarate
  • RELEX: Oren Wolff
  • DGT: Catherine Vieilledent
  • CCR: Ioannis Vlatis
  • ECFIN: Carmen Zammit
  • ENTR: Brigitte Degen
  • RTD: Philippe Keraudren
  • INFSO: Jacques Babot
  • JLS: Marie Ange Balbinot
  • COMM: Rubén Mohedano-Brèthes
  • SG: Paul Simon
  • MARE: Georges Spyrou
  • SANCO: Isabelle Demade
  • OLAF: Nicola Falcione
  • EAC: Lisa Kyriakidis
  • DEV: Catherine Metdepenningen
  • TRADE: Rafael Marquez García
  • Retraités: Michel Stavaux
  • EUROCONTROL: Jean-Paul Soyer


Do not hesitate to contact these committed colleagues who will respect your confidentiality.

This list will very shortly be updated to cover all services.

You may contact anyone you wish.  You can see that our commitment to be near you was not only words.  Our promises are not made for election purposes but are made to be kept!


  The (re)comfort of the office … with a smile  


The invisible hand

A team might find equilibrium and then it may happen that an invisible hand gives it a shove and it falls down.  It is not a matter of the wish of an individual or of a logical relation between cause and effect, but it is the result of a multitude of interferences among regulations, post definitions, quotas, budgets, the conditions of individuals (many, too many) and it is also lack of communication here and there. 

The result is that a member of the team is obliged to accept another post.  No one wants this, the hierarchy verifies, analyses, defends this cause, the colleagues study the different options for action.  Nothing!  The machine has already done the administrative synthesis of the question and the guillotine went into operation, forcing one to pass from shock to resignation.

Thank you Eurest!

Don't complain about lack of comforts in the office.  I work for the Institutions and I received a mug!  Only for me, just with a receipt, as I should give it back when I leave.  In the meantime it will be my little friend, coming everywhere with me, from my office to the kitchenette, in the cafeteria.  This mug will be witness of all my conversations, serious or light.  I'll wash it and dry it in the evening and it will be there waiting for me in the morning.  Just for me and only for me!  Thank you Eurest!



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Editeur: G. Vlandas  Responsable de la rédaction: R. Mohedano-Brèthes  Équipe: J.-P. Soyer, F. Andreone, F. Linton, J.L. Noir, N. Pascall, S. Vlandas


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