CERN Accelerating science

Be well prepared for the next five-yearly review

2012: An excellent year for particle physics

We’ve all been involved in the great endeavour of high-energy physics in 2012, the discovery of the famous Higgs-like particle, a missing piece of the Standard Model. In other areas 2012 has also been rich in exceptional results. The Director-General, his team and all CERN staff members can be proud of these extraordinary scientific and technological achievements.

The Member States have shown their support to the Organization by approving the 2013 budget and the medium-term plan until 2017 during the official Committees in December 2012, despite a rather worrying economic situation. The Director-General, in his New Year speech of 9th January 2013, underlined that the Organization can positively consider its future, with the LHC re-start scheduled in early 2015, with an energy of 6.5 TeV. The consolidation of other infrastructure, necessary for proper functioning of the installations of the Organization, will take place in 2013 and 2014. The European Strategy for Particle Physics will be updated during a special meeting of the Council in Brussels at the end of May 2013. This meeting, important to all of us, will be the basis of the scientific strategy in the field of CERN activities until the end of the decade.

For its part, in 2012 the Staff Association dealt with numerous issues essential to the staff including the Saved-Leave Scheme, pensions, the advancement system, contract policy, the changes of administrative or operational Circulars. A detailed report was made during our public meetings in May and October 2012 and in Echo 149 and 161. Many of you participated and expressed your opinions. The Staff Association would like to thank you for this.

2013: A year of preparation and of elections

After the implementation of various “balanced measures” in 2011 and in 2012 for the CERN Pension Fund in order to ensure its full funding in thirty years time, the triennial actuarial review of our Fund will be made in 2013. This will take into account measures implemented in 2011 and will use new actuarial tables, taking into account the increase in longevity over the past ten years. The study will calculate the evolution of the coverage of our Fund since 2011 and will serve as a basis for discussion at the Governing Board of the Pension Fund (PFGB).

The preparation of the five-yearly review of employment conditions (5YR 2015) is already on the agenda, even if the results will only be approved at the end of 2015. The issues to be addressed should be discussed now. Indeed, they will be the subject of a proposal from the Directorate to TREF in May 2014 and will be approved by the CERN Council in June 2014. The Staff Council will therefore deliberate on the major topics of employment conditions in the first half of 2013, to determine those it wishes to address. Our colleagues in other Staff Associations of International Organizations will also be contacted in order to identify changes in their conditions of employment. As in the past, there will be a survey of all staff at the end of the year, in order to know your opinion on all these topics and the priorities that the Staff Association should adopt.

The Staff Council will also deal with the following subjects:

  • The study of a new Staff Council structure to improve its efficiency, its competence and its ability to be creative and develop innovative ideas. A legal text of the Organization, the Statutes of the Staff Association and rules governing its functioning need to be adapted. Discussions with the management are necessary in order to better recognise the statutory work and duties of the staff representatives.
  • Contract policy mainly regarding the procedure for the award of indefinite contracts through the ad hoc Committee, the CCRB, the decreasing number of opening of indefinite contracts in 2013 and the effective limit on the number of recruits in 2013.
  • The evolution of our health insurance scheme (CHIS) and the financial balance of its benefits that are monitored inside the CHIS board (a sub-group of the CCP) in which the Staff Association has participated for twenty years.
  • The advancement system with a study of MARS since its implementation six years ago. This could lead to proposals to improve some criteria of the advancement system, which are unsatisfactory mainly with respect to the long term needs of CERN, in the context of the next 5-yearly review (5YR).
  • Careers with the final recognition of diplomas (Bologna classification), the validation of prior learning and experience at CERN, and the implementation of an actual career development interview, as has been promised for a long time. And finally a real internal mobility policy.

The Staff Association will put resources in the training of your delegates to improve even more their competence and efficiency. This will be done by the implementation of a Staff Representative school in collaboration, if possible, with our colleagues of other staff unions of International Organizations.

Note that 2013 will also be an election year. The Staff Council will be renewed in November 2013 for a mandate of two years (2014 - 2015). All members of the Staff Association can present themselves for this election so that you will elect a strong and solid team. With your support this team will convince the Management and the Member States that the working conditions of CERN staff need to be improved in many areas if CERN is to keep today’s level of excellence.

Throughout the year, you will be kept informed of all our analysis and developments. Public meetings will be held in the third week of May and the last week of September to keep you updated and discuss issues with you. We rely on all of you to help us succeed in the next five-yearly review. The future is in your hands.