CERN Accelerating science

Happy New Year 2018!

Early in the new year, the Staff Association wishes you and your loved ones its best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year 2018, as well as individual and collective success. May it be filled with satisfaction in both your professional and private life.

A Difficult start

The results of the election of the new Staff Council were published on 20th November 2017 in Echo N° 281.

The process of renewing the Staff Council proceeded very well: candidates in numbers, from all departments, ranks and categories (staff, fellows and associates); and the turnout rate in this election is up compared to previous elections ... something to be celebrated and congratulated.

In accordance with the statutes of the Staff Association, the new Staff Council shall, at its first meeting, elect an Executive Committee comprising a “Bureau” with four statutory posts: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.

However, while the composition of the Executive Committee was easily established, the appointment of the “Bureau” proved to be more complicated, for too few delegates were ready to get involved at this level in the current context.

Chief among the reasons put forth, is the impossibility for many delegates to devote at least 50 % of their work time in the Staff Association; considering the workload linked to professional activities and the chronic shortage of personnel in many services at CERN, this argument is well known within the Staff Association.

Secondly, fears were raised about putting one’s career “on-hold” by spending more time with the Staff Association. More time devoted to the Staff Association can mean a degraded recognition of the merit. This argument is new and worrying to say the least.

Finally, and we are down to the heart of the issue, several delegates consider that they cannot trust our interlocutors in the consultation process (“Concertation” in French). This feeling certainly follows the difficult management of some issues, but also stems from a difference in the understanding, between the Management and the Staff Association, of the principle of consultation which governs our relations.

Executive Crisis Committee

The Staff Council, in its meeting of 5 December 2017, finally elected and established a Crisis Executive Committee for a three months period ending 31 March 2018, with the main objective to find a resolution for the "Nursery and School" issue, (see Echo N° 282 of 11/12/2017).

The composition of this interim crisis committee is as follows:

A year of challenges

2018 is therefore from the start a year of challenges for the Staff Association, and the consultation process (“Concertation”) with the Management.

The Staff Association reaffirms its will to work in a climate of trust and good faith, two necessary elements of a fruitful and constructive consultation process.

We wish you once again a happy new year 2018!