U4U Circular 

  - N°5814 September 2016 - Editor: G. Vlandas, Editorial team : P. Kéraudren, K. Slama, F. Andreone, J.-P. Soyer.

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U4U writes to J.-C. Juncker

U4U wrote to the President of the Commission before his State of the Union address on 14 September to draw his attention to the changes required in European policies and to the situation of the European Civil Service.

This letter was preceded by an communication from U4U calling on the Commission to respond to the ethical issues raised by the appointment of Mr. Barroso since the news reports came out. This email was backed up by a petition launched by concerned officials, which garnered 140,000 signatures.

As the European Mediator had sent a letter along the same lines, the Commission asked for the opinion of the European Ethics Committee. The Commission's image must be publicly protected, as we say in our new letter.

See the letter from U4U to the President of the Commission...

Adjustments to pay and pensions of officials and agents in 2016

It seems that the indicator measuring changes in purchasing power in the Member States is positive. Several Member States have raised, or are about to raise, the salaries of their officials. These increases concern Germany and France in particular, who are the two major players in the sample of 11 Member States that make up this indicator. These increases are relatively secure, as both countries are in an election period.

The indicator for price changes in Belgium and Luxembourg suggests that this percentage will be around 1% (Belgian and Luxembourg statistics).

It is therefore reasonable to believe that our pay and pensions will increase at the end of this year, with effect from 1 July 2016. U4U will give you further details once the Commission has ratified the data and started the updating procedure.  


Adjustment to pension contributions for 2016.

Article 83bis §4 of the Staff Regulations states that the contribution to the pensions regime for "active personnel" is adjusted annually if the actuarial calculations result in a variation in this contribution of at least 0.25% of salary, either up or down.

For the period July 2016-June2017, the initial calculations show a fall in the interest rate used for calculating the actuarial balance, which means we can hope for a reduction in the pension contributions of EU officials and agents with effect from 1 July  2016. Our direct salary will therefore rise in proportion with this fall.

U4U will give you further details once the Commission has ratified the data and started the updating procedure.


Psychosocial risk prevention [PRP], an obligation of the employer…

In August 1996, the Kingdom of Belgium transposed into its national law a 1989 Directive [Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989] on safety and health at work, which it amended on 10 April 2014 to extend it to psychosocial risks, which it defines as follows in art.2, para. 3:

"3° psychosocial risks at work: the probability that one or more workers suffer psychological harm, which may also be accompanied by physical harm, as a result of exposure to elements of the organisation and content of the work, working conditions, conditions of life at work and interpersonal relations at work, on which the employer has an impact and which objectively comprise a danger".

The legislator was not mistaken: the work environment includes a series of risk factors liable to affect the psychological health of workers. It is the responsibility of employers to anticipate these risk factors.  In addition to the prevention of risks at work governed by the law of 1996, the Royal Decree of 10 April 2014 establishes the obligation for employers to arrange the analysis of psychosocial risks at work and preventive measures, to create an SIPPT – internal service for Prevention and Protection at Work - and to appoint a person to be responsible for this: the CPAP (an advisor for the psychosocial aspects of prevention).

The Commission is based, mutatis mutandis, on Belgian law to guarantee its agents the application of legal standards for health and safety at work, including psychosocial risks. Following a meeting of the CPPT joint committee, on which U4U has a representative, the DG HR supported the creation of a steering group that will reflect better governance for the prevention and remedying of PRP in our institution. This group will also be responsible for establishing indicators. It will be required to prepare an action plan.


A U4U section at the EASA

U4U has recently created a union section at the regulatory agency EASA in Cologne after creating a section in Alicante (EUIPO). U4U is thus confirming its presence within the regulatory agencies, where it has the support of a great number of members. To find out more about our action, ‘l'appel d'Alicante’ (the Alicante appeal) integrates our platform for the regulatory agencies.

Read the Alicante Appeal...


Mission guidelines

The administrative consultation between the services of the DG HR and the OSPs ended at the beginning of July. There are still some disagreements between the unions and the administration on some subjects, which is why the OSPs have requested a technical dialogue with the Director General. These points are:

·         The calculation of the daily allowance;

·         The amount of the mileage allowance;

·         Flat rates for missions to or between Brussels and Luxembourg;

·         The handling of miles earned due to the missions.

In addition to these differences, U4U is seeking the abolition of the requirement imposed on heads of mission to find conditions that are more economical than the guideline conditions, which could lead to missions working in poor conditions.

The next negotiation with the DG HR is planned for 15 September.


Luxembourg : EMAS, What about the Opportunity-Costs?

Is EMAS making the most of energy savings and other sources of economy ? EMAS should be attempting to calculate the Opportunity-Cost in terms of the Environmental impact of not building the JMO 2 building in Luxembourg 15 or more years ago.

Read this opinion paper...


Préparation aux épreuves orales en centre d'évaluation des concours internes

COM/03/AD/16 (AD 6)

COM/02/AST/16 (AST 2)


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Preparation of AST/SC, AST, AD internal competitions by individual coaching


More information and registration...



Brexit : What happens now ?
I am British, which are my rights ?

20 September

12:45hrs Large conference room, Loi 80

Information and registration...



Economie numérique : les enjeux

Le 26 septembre de 18h à 20h, rue de la Loi 80, la revue GRASPE vous invite à une conférence-débat sur les enjeux de la numérisation de l’économie pour les secteurs traditionnels de l’économie et les travailleurs ainsi que sur la nécessité d’une réponse de l’Union Européenne.

Luc Hendrickx, de l’Union Européenne de l’Artisanat et des PME, et Thiébaut Weber, de la Confédération Européenne des Syndicats, lanceront le débat.

Information et inscription...