CERN Accelerating science

Portrait - Barbora Bruant Gulejova

Barbora Bruant Gulejova, Fellow delegate
Married, 1 child, 36 years, Fellow IR-ECO

I started working at CERN in July 2014 as a User in the domain of knowledge transfer (Head of Community Activities of High Energy Physics Technology Transfer Network – HEPTech). Six months later I became a Fellow in Education and Outreach group (today ECO) where I have been working for more than two years on different projects including IPPOG (International Particle Physics Outreach Group) in the framework of my function of Scientific Secretary.

I have a diverse profile, a PhD in Thermonuclear Fusion, a Master’s in Management, and experience in scientific editing in international organizations. Working at CERN has been the best and most enriching experience in my career. The stimulating environment of the Organization opens new perspectives, allows to develop new skills and supports creativity. I respect CERN values and I am proud to work here. Moreover, if one has a possibility to contribute to the well-being of the Organization and his/her colleagues, it becomes even more rewarding. This is where Staff Association plays a role. It is a statutory organ here to listen to CERN employees, including Fellows, and defend them. The Staff Association is driven by the willingness to maintain excellent working conditions for all colleagues.

Before coming to CERN, I had already lived and worked in Switzerland for 11 years and my family lives in France. Thus, I know the employment conditions and social security system of these two Host States well. I have been investigating these conditions for Fellows at CERN even well before I became a Fellow. Fellows are employed by CERN but unlike staff members they have no unemployment insurance in the current system. You may think that it is not important for you today, but in cases where a Fellow finds herself at maternity leave at the end of her contract or if a Fellow encounters a long-term health issue during or at the end of his/her contract, there can be a situation of hardship without any income. I consider that it is worthwhile to try to find solutions for this and that was the principal reason I joined the Staff Association.

In this sense, a lot has been done for the Fellows by the Staff Association together with the Diversity Office. As a Fellow delegate, I had the chance to concentrate my efforts to contribute to the proposals for the 5-yearly review. Even if all the proposals of the Staff Association were not retained, today we can be grateful for increased parental benefits, for example the extension of health care for the whole period of maternity leave, longer paternity leave, increased flexibility for new parents, access to teleworking, and recognition of registered partnerships. See: http://diversity.web.cern.ch/diversity-measures-5-yearly-review.

It is my pleasure and honour to represent the needs and the voice of more than 700 Fellows at CERN. However, together with a colleague Fellow, Jiri, we are only a small team. There are 5 seats for Fellows in the Staff Council and our voice could be much stronger if they were filled. Moreover, Fellows’ contracts are up to 3 years and without continuity there is no success. We hope to have more of you, Fellow friends, on board for the next mandate starting in 2018.

The Staff Association is a friendly and enriching place where you can meet more experienced staff colleagues from all CERN departments and learn a lot about the Organization you work for.

I encourage my colleague Fellows to become members of the Staff Association and to represent the Fellows in the future Staff Council by participating in the elections in autumn 2017.