U4U Circular

  - N° 61 – 5 July 2017 - Editor: G. Vlandas; Editorial board: P. Kéraudren, K. Slama, F. Andreone, P. Grosjean, J.-P. Soyer.

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RTD: Staff cuts during major restructuring

The outsourcing of the assessment and management of the Horizon 2020 research projects to the executive agencies and other organisations (e.g. JU, etc.) means a reduction of DG RTD staff responsible for project management. The RTD wants to develop its strategic resources to strengthen the research and innovation policy ("DG policy"). These staff cuts affect the Administrative and Financial Units (AFU) in particular. These Units will soon be reduced from 7 to 3 (and eventually to just one at the end of Horizon 2020), while their workforces, according to the available information, will be reduced from 200 to around 130, between 2017 and 2019.

For further information...


After-school childcare centres: finally some additional places!

The childcare centres play a crucial role: caring for our children after school has finished and enabling us to work with peace of mind. U4U is in favour of childcare centres organised by the OIB: they offer high-quality education, qualified staff, and their services are monitored on a daily basis.

There is still a shortfall of several hundred places. U4U supports the expectations stated by the Parents' Association of crèches and childcare centres in Brussels (AdP) concerning an increase in access to childcare provision at the European schools, as well as within the Commission's buildings, where possible.

Thanks to the actions of the AdP, with the support of the Staff Committee, most of the APEEEs (European Schools Parents' Associations) and the heads of the European schools, the services of the Commission (the OIB) have decided to open more than 20 extra classes in schools for the start of the next school year.

This initial result shows that where the political will exists, improvements can be made. An example to follow!


CA staff: let's keep up our good work

The social dialogue to ensure the implementation of the 2014 Staff Regulations has finally concluded with the opinion issued by the Staff Regulations Committee and that of the Central Staff Commission of the Committee. The College will formally adopt this GIP, probably in the autumn.

While some overall progress has been made, especially for CA staff on open-ended contracts, there are still some problems. It will be necessary:

  • to improve the administrative information of the colleagues concerned and the operational services: sadly, there have been far too many complaints on this subject;
  • to help enable, through targeted training initiatives, those CA staff who have passed internal and external competitions to become permanently employed within the European Civil Service;
  • to open up all vacant posts in the Commission's services, the executive agencies, and the EEAS;
  • to speed up reclassifications (promotions), the movement through function groups;
  • and finally, to transpose the learning points from the social dialogue into the agencies and the External Service.

Read our full analysis...

See all the dialogue documents ...


Mediation Service: why don't the Agencies have access to this?

The Commission's Mediation Service facilitates the resolution of conflicts that can arise within working relationships. Although it has no decision-making authority, it acts as an intermediary between the staff and the administration.

There is no such arrangement for the executive or regulatory agencies. A service agreement between the Commission and the agencies could have been signed, as is the practice in other fields, to extend the jurisdiction of the Commission's mediator to cover the agencies. U4U will endeavour to fill this vacuum.

For further information...

For info: General Report on the activity of the Mediation Service 2016


OLAF : compensation of night working time is now a right

Night working hours : Staff has a clear entitlement to recuperate the hours worked out of typical office hours. But is it so clear ? Recuperation of extra hours, notably night hours, should by no means be submitted to the free appreciation of the manager. The OLAF Director-General took note of the issue and has settled a procedure enabling the staff to recuperate overtime. U4U would follow up on the fine tuning of the procedure and will continue to back-up any staff from whom supplementary efforts are requested to ensure that a fair compensation is made available as an entitlement.

Other news for OLAF :

  • OLAF to transfer posts to the future European Public Prosecutor Office. But details are lacking...

  • Temporary staff : will OLAF fix the issues relating to unfair past situations ?

  • The European Court of Auditors will focus on anti-fraud policies and measures as well as on investigations. OLAF will be visited again.

For more information...


Disciplinary procedure

Have you been called to witness in a disciplinary procedure? Your data has been seized by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) without you being a 'person concerned' ? Do you know this may happen? Have you ever heard about the rules of the internal discipline body in your Institution? Do you know you cannot challenge these procedures until the administration produces an OLAF Final Case Report and that you have little chance of having access to the case files while your data is held by OLAF?

Do you know that you have a statutory right to be accompanied by your staff representatives when your working conditions are at stake?

U4U opens a permanent helpdesk to assist staff members who are affected by administrative investigations (IDOC, OLAF and other bodies within the EU Institutions with similar missions). A trained group of staff representatives will ensure the procedures are respected when witnessing the process. In case of need, witnesses will be physically escorted to the interviews and preliminary legal advice will be provided on the procedures and the rights of defence of EU staff and members.

To know more ...


Brexit: let's start the social dialogue now

Brexit negotiations have begun in a climate of deep uncertainty.

However, the fate of the British nationals employed by the institutions could be confirmed immediately. U4U supports the position expressed by J.-C. Juncker and distributed to all staff in June 2016. U4U asks that a social dialogue be initiated on this matter on the return from the summer holidays in September 2017.

With regard to the European schools, we request that an English-speaking section be retained for the benefit of children of a number of different nationalities.

For further information...