Latest developments regarding the on-going discussions about the status of USERs

CERN Users

We would like to update you on the latest developments regarding the on-going discussions about the status of USERs and the impact on the introduction of the “Cost of Living Allowance” (COLA).

Let us start with the CERN internal processes.

Three Working Groups (WG) have been addressing different aspects of the USERs status.

  1. WG on Strengthening the Support for USERs at CERN, which looks at practical aspects of the life of USERs while at CERN.
  2. WG on Experimental Associate (ExAs) which is intended to define a new status for members of CERN collaborations based at CERN for extended periods of time.
  3. Technical WG on financial resources which assesses the suitability of level of subsistence that can be paid to USERs.

The Staff Association (SA) is participating to all three WGs to defend the USER community. The ExAs working group has come to an end and several points still need to be clarified, particularly concerning the eligibility criteria to become ExAs.

External processes are also ongoing, related to the introduction of the COLA and the end of the issuance of internal taxation certificates.

Many of Users have contacted the French Tax Authorities to argue that they should be exempt from paying taxes in France. Having collected their feedback, we are disappointed to report that only a few of them were successful. The reason for the success or failure of these requests can up to now not be understood.

The SA has also sought legal advice concerning the possibility to appeal to French courts. These are highly technical legal cases and we are still to converge on an advisable way forward.

In the meantime, the appeals submitted by a few USERs to the ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) are still being processed. We hope to hear back from the tribunal towards the end of the year. The ruling will have a very significant impact on the strategy to be chosen for the appeals that could be launch in France.

This is a summary of what we can share for now. Because of the sensitive nature of these processes, we are bound by the respect of confidentiality practices.

So far more than 1100 people have signed the online petition to support USERs. Please consider joining in !