CERN Accelerating science

Regardons en arrière

Dans le No 215 d’Echo nous annoncions que nous sommes en train d’archiver les anciennes publications de l’Association du personnel, en particulier les numéros du « Journal de l’Association du Personnel ». Pour revivre avec vous quelques moments intéressants des 60 ans d’histoire de l’Association, que nous fêtons en 2015, nous comptons reproduire quelques articles de ce magazine dans Écho. Nous commençons avec un texte qui montre comment les responsables de l’Association, qui venait de naître quelques mois auparavant, voyait son rôle à ces débuts.

Comme curiosité nous reproduisons ci-contre la page 16 du Journal de l’Association de juillet 1956, qui montre la distribution des âges du personnel du CERN. La moyenne des âges était de 33 ans. À la fin de l’année 1956 le CERN comptait 396 employés, y compris les boursiers (à comparer à 114 et 260 à la fin 1954 et 1955, respectivement).

Il n’y a avait pas encore de retraités à ce moment-là. Ce qui ne veut pas dire qu’on ne parlait pas de Caisse de pensions. En effet, tout le Journal de l’Association du personnel, N° 7 de mai 1956 était consacré à un exposé sur le projet de Fonds de pensions élaboré par l’Administration du CERN, qui au N° 8 de juin 1956 il est indiqué que le Comité de l’Association a consacré la plus grande partie de son activité récente à l’étude du projet de Fonds de pensions, préparé par l’Administration.

Some people are going too far

(Staff Association Journal, N° 2 November 1955)

It is 5 months since the Association came into being, it is now a reality and everybody is today able to see and appreciate some of the tasks, which have been undertaken. We shall draw up a list of these at the end of the year but we would take this opportunity to think about the meaning of our Association and the part it has to play inside CERN.

Everyone - and this is quite normal - has his own point of view upon this question and amongst all these opinions, we would like to put forward our own.

There are people for whom the Staff members Association is a kind of all-mighty organization which has the power of solving all the problems and settling all the difficulties arising in CERN, whatever they may be.

There are people for whom the Association is a luxury which every administration or well-organized society can afford in view of assuming a modern aspect and eventually justifying certain unpopular measures. For these people the Association is of no use and is nothing but an instrument of the Administration.

There are people for whom the Association is a kind of headache, an. Organism meant for throwing them from the comfortable little nest, which they have built for themselves, and with this idea in mind, they doubt its value. For these people, the Association is the one who threatens to deprive them of their privileges - or of what they think are privileges. They do not show indifference towards the Association but try in a way to interfere with each of the schemes it wishes to carry out. We for instance heard, certainly as a joke, but an unfriendly joke, that “We shall stay in CERN as long as the Association does not kick us out”.

There are people who think that our Association is a fighting organism, with its troops, its spies, its “double agents”, with of course all the relative methods.

Other people believe that the Association is only looking after certain categories of staff members, trying to obtain for them privileges that other Categories will not be given.

In fact, this is not the case! All these people are going too far and although it is extremely difficult to express in a few lines a point of view, we would like to bring more light upon this question.

The scopes of the Association are clearly determined in Article 2 of the Statutes and although this text establishes the outlines of our Association, we have still to define the spirit in which we envisage performing our task. We first want to insist upon the necessity as we did in our first bulletin, of developing a spirit of mutual comprehension and collaboration between members of the staff and the directing body of CERN and between the staff members themselves.

It certainly may happen that we do not have the same point of view of the Direction of CERN upon certain problems but the study of opinions, even opposed can be the occasion of highly interesting exchanges of views which are often very profitable.

Objectivity and research of truth remain in one of the main lines of conduct of our Association.

We also retain as very important another chapter of our activities programme: Advise and help staff members. A large number of staff members come to ask us advice or to tell us that such or such measure displeases them. In this case, we carry out our policy, which is to help staff members. We have then to bring light upon some misunderstanding, we have to find the source of small troubles and we very often indicate to the interested people what is the best way to put everything right. Sometimes we help directly the person and take ourselves the step, which we think, is the most efficient.

If' we were finally asked to give in a few words the definition of' what we think is the part the Association has to play, we should answer without hesitation: to help staff' members. We would like everyone to be conscious of this and not to think any longer that the Association is going to upset everything or that it is merely a straw man. It is only one of' the internal institutions which will help CERN to reach the aims established.