CERN Accelerating science

Benchmark job – Watch out!

On 12 December 2016, in Echo No. 259, we already discussed at length the MERIT and benchmark jobs. Still, we find that a couple of issues warrant further discussion.

Benchmark job – administrative decision on 1 July 2017

On 12 January 2017, the HR Department informed all staff members of a change to the effective date of the administrative decision regarding benchmark jobs. The benchmark job title of each staff member will be confirmed on 1 July 2017, instead of 1 May 2017 as originally announced in HR’s letter on 18 August 2016. Postponing the administrative decision by two months will leave a little more time to address the issues related to incorrect placement in a benchmark job.

Benchmark job – discuss with your supervisor, at the latest during the MERIT interview

In order to rectify an incorrect placement in a benchmark job, it is essential that the supervisor and the supervisee go over the assigned benchmark job together. In most cases, this placement has been done automatically. While some of us have already gone through this exercise and, hopefully, an agreement has been reached, others have not yet had the occasion to discuss their benchmark job. The Staff Association encourages those who have not yet had the opportunity to have this discussion at the latest during the MERIT interview.

What could be more fitting than to check together with your supervisor that your functions, your activities and your classification correspond to your work, your competencies and qualifications, as well as your level of expertise? The Staff Association insists that the result of this discussion be submitted in writing, preferably in the MERIT form (e.g. comments, attachment) or, alternatively and in case of disagreement, by a letter or an email addressed to your hierarchy and your HRA.

The Staff Association would like to recall that while the placement in a benchmark job can be incorrect, the automatic placement in a grade cannot be called into question. Any requests for a change of grade will be assessed in the framework of the promotions.

Change of provisional benchmark job and promotion

In an upcoming issue of Echo, we will discuss in greater detail the MERIT exercise and the differences between a promotion and a change of benchmark job.

At this stage, it is important to understand that:

  • the placement in a provisional benchmark job on 1 September 2016 can prove to be incorrect and a correction may be required;
  • these logical and predictable adjustments do not in any case fall within promotions or a change of benchmark job in the MERIT exercise framework;
  • it is essential that all errors in placement in benchmark jobs are made known, identified and addressed quickly, before the MERIT exercise and before 1 July 2017.

To conclude, the Staff Association encourages you to be vigilant, to verify your benchmark job and your functions, to discuss them with your supervisor, and to take charge of your career. Please remember that we are at your disposal to answer your questions and discuss any problems you might be facing.