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The European Unions low cost Officials 1 Contract Agents FG IV 3a in Delegations Equal qualifications, equal classification? Equal job, equal pay? Respectable.

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Presentation on theme: "The European Unions low cost Officials 1 Contract Agents FG IV 3a in Delegations Equal qualifications, equal classification? Equal job, equal pay? Respectable."— Presentation transcript:

1 The European Unions low cost Officials 1 Contract Agents FG IV 3a in Delegations Equal qualifications, equal classification? Equal job, equal pay? Respectable professional career? Equal living conditions? Equal expatriation discomfort? INTRODUCTION

2 The European Unions low cost Officials 2 NO CAREER AT ALL! Steady, although slower since 2004

3 The European Unions low cost Officials 3 Such significant differences exist regardless of the level of experience and qualifications….which for CA are often higher ….and regardless of the fact that CA perform core tasks regularly….apparently, the only reason is that Officials passed an EPSO Competition whereas CAs passed an EPSO Test….

4 The European Unions low cost Officials 4 Example of remuneration packages of an AD8 and a CA FG IV G XIV

5 The European Unions low cost Officials The genesis: The Kinnock savings reform, back in 2004, introduced the staff category of Contract Agents (CA) under title IV of chapter II of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities (CEOSEC) of the Staff Regulations (SR) Their role in theory: According to Art. 80 of the CEOSEC, CA shall be subdivided into four function groups corresponding to the duties to be performed: Function group GradesDuties IV 13 to 18 Administrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff III 8 to 12 Executive tasks, drafting, accountancy and other equivalent technical tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff. II 4 to 7 Clerical and secretarial tasks, office management and other equivalent tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff I 1 to 3 Manual and administrative support service tasks, performed under the supervision of officials or temporary staff

6 The European Unions low cost Officials 6 The requirements: According to Art. 82 of the CEOSEC, recruitment as a member of the contract staff shall require at least: Function group Qualifications IV (i) a level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma, or (ii) where justified in the interest of the service, professional training of an equivalent level (iii) one year of relevant professional experience II - III (i) a level of post-secondary education attested by a diploma, or (ii) a level of secondary education attested by a diploma giving access to post secondary education, and appropriate professional experience of at least three years, or (iii) where justified in the interest of the service, professional training or professional experience of an equivalent level I successful completion of compulsory education

7 The European Unions low cost Officials 7 The nature of the contract: According to Art. 85, the contracts of contract staff referred to in Article 3a may be concluded for a fixed period of at least three months and not more than five years. They may be renewed not more than once for a fixed period of not more than five years. The initial contract and the first renewal must be of a total duration of not less than six months for function group I and not less than nine months for the other function groups. Any further renewal shall be for an indefinite period. Contract staff in function group IV shall before renewal of a contract for an indefinite period be required to demonstrate the ability to work in a third language among those referred to in Article 314 of the EC Treaty. The common rules on access to training and the modalities of the assessment mentioned in Article 45(2) of the Staff Regulations shall apply by analogy

8 The European Unions low cost Officials 8 A few statistics: Distribution of active contract agents by gender and grade (all budgets)

9 The European Unions low cost Officials 9 A few statistics: Distribution of active contract agents by gender and grade (all budgets)

10 The European Unions low cost Officials 10 Contract Agents FG IV 3a FACTS

11 The European Unions low cost Officials 11 Career perspectives of a CA: Flat A Function Group IV CA entering at grade XIII will do exactly the same job for his entire career. No professional career perspectives at all. Career perspectives of an official: very attractive An official recruited at AST 1 level can find his/her way right to the top grades of the AD function group through internal competitions (Art. 29 SR) and the certification procedure (Art. 45a SR). AST AD

12 The European Unions low cost Officials 12 Career perspectives of a Temporary Agent (TA): very attractive A TA can find his/her way right to the top grades of the AD function group through internal competitions (Art. 29 SR). TA AD Career perspectives of a Local Agent (LA): attractive A LA recruited at group V level can find his/her way right to the top group I level through the reclassification procedure (Art. 4 FWR) and internal recruitment possibilities. LA Group V LA Group I

13 The European Unions low cost Officials 13 EUs Human Resources Policy in respect of CA (Analysis limited to FG IV): According to Art. 3, Par. 10, Com. d of Annex IV of the General Provisions for Implementing (GIPs) Article 79(2) of the CEOSEC, members of the contract staff shall be graded as follows: Length of professional experience Grade Between 1 year and 7 years 13 Between 8 years and 21 years 14 21 years or more 16

14 The European Unions low cost Officials 14 EUs Human Resources Policy in respect of CA (Analysis limited to FG IV): According to Art. 9 of Annex VII of the GIPs, the desired average reclassification period for each grade is: Function Group Grade Average number of years spent in the grade before reclassification into the next grade IV18 A CA needs on average 27 years to get here 17 between 6 and 10 16 between 5 and 7 15 between 4 and 6 14 between 3 and 5 13

15 The European Unions low cost Officials 15 EUs Human Resources Policy in respect of CA (Analysis limited to FG IV): CA salary grids: Grade 1 st Step (Euro) 133,145.45 143,558.9 154,026.7 164,555.99 175,154.85 185,832.42 Difference in 27 Years is 2,686.97

16 The European Unions low cost Officials 16 Minimum Length of experience Function Group 0 years AD 5 6 years AD 7 9 years AD 8 16 years AD 11 According to latest competition notices, professional experience required for the following AD function groups is: According to Art 45 of the SR, a minimum of only two years is required to be considered for promotion to the next higher grade in the function group to which the official belongs. EUs Human Resources Policy in respect of Officials:

17 The European Unions low cost Officials 17 EUs Human Resources Policy in respect of Officials: Salary grids for Officials and Temporary Agents: Function Group 1 st Step (Euro) AD 5 4,349.59 AD 6 4,921.28 AD 7 5,568.11 AD 8 6,299.95 AD 9 7,127.99 AD 10 8,064.86 AD 11 9,124.87 Difference in 17 Years is 4,775.28

18 The European Unions low cost Officials 18 Contract Agents FG IV 3a Equal qualifications, equal classification? No Equal job, equal pay? No Respectable professional career? No Equal living conditions? No Equal expatriation discomfort? No CONSEQUENCES

19 The European Unions low cost Officials 19 Salary entry levels CA vs Official based on applicable regulations (see slides 12, 14 and 16) : Entry level Experience required Salary 1 st Step (Euro) CA FG 13 1 year 3,145.45 Official AD 5 0 years 4,349.59

20 The European Unions low cost Officials 20 Salary perspectives CA vs Official based on respective average reclassification and promotion periods (see slides 14 and 16): Reclassification or promotion timeframe Time required based on average period of each CA FG and Art 45 for officials Salary difference 1 st Step (Euro) CA FG IV from Grade 13 to Grade 18 27 years 2,686.97 Official from AD 5 to AD 11 17 years 4,775.28

21 The European Unions low cost Officials 21 Organizational layout inconsistencies CA vs Official: 1.Based on the entry requirements and career perspectives of both categories, it is very likely that an Official has less experience than the CA he/she is supervising!!!??? The most bizarre scenario happens when a neo-laureate AD 5 with no experience acts as a direct superior of a multi annual experienced CA. 2.Contract staff in function group IV, before renewal of a contract for an indefinite period, are required to demonstrate the ability to work in a third language while Officials only need to fulfill such requirement for promotion purposes. Such requirement not only reinforces the assumption that CA are very likely more qualified than AD5 officials, but introduces higher requirements for a CA indefinite contract compared to an Officials indefinite contract.

22 The European Unions low cost Officials 22 3.AST Officials with less qualification requirements (level of post- secondary education Art. 5(3) SR) supervise CA FG IV and perform validation functions denied to CAs; 4.It is common and a matter of fact that CAs act as Head of Section ad interim, manage sub-offices in Delegations, perform same tasks as AD or AST colleagues and go well beyond their non-coreadministrative, advisory, linguistic and equivalent technical tasks. Obviously such additional responsibilities and competencies assigned to a cheaper staff category represent an undisputable windfall for the EU; 5.All statutory staff categories have an opportunity to take on a professional career, except CAs. Not only, CAs are denied access to internal competitions (Art. 29 SR), a possibility unreasonably allowed to TA; Organizational layout inconsistencies CA vs Official:

23 The European Unions low cost Officials 23 Financial inconsistencies between CA and Official: 1.In substance the SR are adopting double standards, example: ;A CA FG IV G 13 with 7 years of experience corresponds to a basic salary level of Euro 3,145.45; A AD7 official with 6 years of experience corresponds to a basic salary level of Euro 5,568.11; On average, it will take a CA FG IV G13 27 years to earn (Euro 5,832.42) what an AD5 will earn after just 5 years of service; A CA FG IV with between 8 and 21 years of experience corresponds to an entry level of Grade 14 (see slide 15), which equals to a salary level of Euro 3,558.90; An Official with 16 years of experience corresponds to an entry level of AD 11 (see slide 16) which equals to a salary level of Euro 9,124.87

24 The European Unions low cost Officials 24 Financial inconsistencies between CA and Official: 2.Allowances Allowances such as Living Conditions Allowance, Expatriation Allowance, Household Allowance calculated on a percentage of the staff basic salary (Annex VII SR) should be converted into a lump sum as the living conditions, expatriation discomforts and household needs do not depend of the amount of a persons salary level;

25 The European Unions low cost Officials 25 Contract Agents FG IV 3a CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

26 The European Unions low cost Officials 26 Conclusions: 1.The EUs HR policy reform, which introduced the category of CAs, was obviously inspired by the only pressing need to save funds. 9 years later, the EU institutions can not deny that such short-sighted and monochromatic policy has, besides significant savings, introduced a number of unjustified and intolerable incongruities among different staff categories. The EU has to abandon its current source of policy inspiration and recognize the fact that a respectable HR policy can not neglect essential elements such as: A professional fulfilling career for every staff member; A professional career based on seniority levels or objective meritocratic assessments equal to every staff member; Equal opportunities to all staff members; Equal job, equal pay principle;

27 The European Unions low cost Officials 27 Recommendation: 1.The EU should abolish the wording under the supervision of officials or temporary staff in the duty description of Art. 80 of the CEOS as the current exploitation of CA is in violation of the provisions set forth in such Art.; 2.The EU should introduce a provision allowing CA access to internal competitions; 3.The EU should introduce a provision putting Temporary Agents and CA on an equal footing; 4.The EU should reduce the manifest and unreasonably high remuneration differences between TA/Officials and CA, not necessarily by increasing CA salary levels;

28 The European Unions low cost Officials 28 Recommendation: 8.The EU should introduce a provision establishing a rotation system and the possibility for CA to work in HQs; 9.Given the aforementioned discrepancies (lack of career perspectives, job insecurity, lower salary levels compared to equal job, etc.) the imminent financial savings measures should not affect all staff across the board in the same way: Given the higher salary of officials, the cut of lump sums (travel), the reduction of leave days (6), the increase of working hours (40) will definitely have a greater impact on CAs. CAs by definition already represent the result of the biggest HR savings measure put in place so far by the EU. If the EU considers CAs adifferent staff category, it should keep such consideration even for its smart savings exercise. Allowances such as Living Conditions Allowance, Expatriation Allowance, Household Allowance calculated on a percentage of staff basic salary (Annex VII SR) should be converted into a lump sum as the living conditions, expatriation discomforts and household needs do not depend on the amount of a persons salary level;

29 The European Unions low cost Officials 29 Recommendation: 9.Such measures may represent significant savings, as the allowance amounts currently received by CA (being considered reasonable) would be allocated to officials as well. 10.The EU should introduce a provision abolishing the third language requirement as a pre-requisite for CA indefinite duration contract;


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