QUESTIONS & REPLIES –PUBLIC MEETING (Part II)
Q7) Does the salaries correction for inflation in the coming months, will also apply for fellow contracts?
Fellow’s stipends are indeed subject to an annual review.
As stipulated in Annex A1 of the Staff Rules and Regulation1 In accordance with Article S V 1.02, the periodic reviews of the financial and social conditions of members of the personnel consist of a five-yearly general review of financial and social conditions (hereinafter "the five -yearly review") and an annual review of basic salaries, stipends, subsistence allowances and family benefits (hereinafter "the annual review").
The purpose of this annual review is to protect basic salaries and stipends from the erosion of purchasing power resulting from any increase in the cost of living.
Calculation of the basic salary and stipend index
The basic salary and stipend index shall consist of the following two components:
The Geneva cost-of-living movement for a twelve-month period from August of the year preceding the current year to August of the current year (according to the data supplied by the Statistical Office of the Canton of Geneva, taking the index for the month of August in the year preceding the current year as base 100).
The average movements of the real net salaries of the civil servants:
- of the Swiss Federal Public Service,
- of the Member States whose regular contribution in the current year is more than 2% of the Organization's Budget, for a twelve-month period from June of the year preceding the current year to June of the current year (according to the data supplied by the Statistical Office of the Euro pean Communities – EUROSTAT - taking the index for June of the year preceding the current year as base 100).
Half of the second component shall consist of the data concerning Switzerland and the other half shall consist of the data for the other Member States, determined using the above criterion, weighted according to the distribution of those Member States' nationals among the Organization's personnel (according to the personnel statistics at 31 December of the year preceding the current year). 1 - Staff Rules and Regulation
Q8) Do you think it is reasonable to continue to fight for even more privileges for already very privileged IC staff - in the current global context?
Working in an international organization, a place of excellence, like CERN is a privilege.
However, the Staff Regulations and Rules state: the purpose of the five-year review is to ensure that the financial and social conditions offered by the Organization enable it to recruit, in all its Member States, and retain within it the staff members necessary for the performance of its mission. In accordance with Article S II 1.03, these incumbents shall be of the highest competence and integrity.
To achieve this goal, and to remain a center of excellence, the Organization must ensure, in addition to the scientific and technical interest in participating in CERN's mission, that it offers attractive social and financial conditions.
Are the financial and social conditions for existing and future generations so privileged?
Over the past twenty years, and especially since the 2015 five-year review, the Association has seen a continuous erosion of the social and financial conditions of the staff employed by the Organization.
Do you know that the conditions of incumbents before and after 2007 are different and degraded in terms of school reimbursements? Do you know that the conditions of incumbents before and after 2012 are degraded in terms of pension?
At the same time, real challenges in recruiting from certain Member States have arisen, making staff from these countries under-represented in relation to their contribution to the CERN budget.
The Staff Association in seeking to preserve the social and financial conditions of the members employed by the Organization also preserves the Organization.
This is especially true since any staff member employed by CERN gives up, among other things, his or her national social security and pension systems, thus making CERN not only his or her employer but also his or her state.
Q9) In ECHO385 it is remarked that a grade 8 and up salary freeze threatens solidarity. Would this gesture not be a sign of solidarity towards lower-paid colleagues (and to CERN for future financial security), rather than a threat? How exactly is this risking CERNs' unity ?
The principles that have always supported the actions of the Association are solidarity and mutuality. Why is this so?
Solidarity is a means of guaranteeing the stability of the CERN community. Indeed, it allows us to offer everyone the means to live properly. The search for the common good helps to limit excessive social inequalities. No individual or group is left out or unfairly disadvantaged.
Therefore, the ability to attract the best in each grade within the Organization must be defended. This inclusive approach is in the interest of the staff but also in the interest of the Organization.
Q10) Is it true that the Staff Association uses our financial contribution to pay a lawyer to file cases against CERN? Can we have any say to avoid we pay for fights we are not aligned with?
The Staff Association confirms that a budget is dedicated to get the support of external lawyers, when needed.
It can be some general advice provided on specific topics as most of the “subjects” treated by the Staff Association are legal, technical, and complex.
It can also concern a legal support given for individual situations on matters such as tax, disabilities, harassment, administrative decisions, etc.
Some of these questions can lead to a formal procedure and the Staff Association may propose to support the member of personnel during all the process. Article I.1.3 of the Statutes of the CERN Staff Association: Paragraph (e): "...the Association shall assist in individual or collective disputes concerning conditions of employment, work and welfare."
These expenses are managed in a very transparent way as the annual budget is presented and approved during the SA General Assembly, which take place every year.
Q11) In its latest Medium Term Plan (MTP) the Management cut official travel by 20% as one of COVID-19 'lessons learned'. But now Management wants to cut the allowance staff receive when they travel even though new detailed travel arrangements are 2 years old only! Should staff agree?
The position of the Staff Association was clear on the last Standing Concertation Committee (SCC), where the Association refused to approve the modification of the article 46 of the AC33 proposed by the Management.
The Staff Council has already refused formally that this modification is implemented without a complete review of the AC33 as foreseen.
The subject will be in the agenda of the SCC in September.
For reminder, the last review of the travel financial conditions took 2 years of discussions in 2018 and 2019, where all the parties found satisfaction. Today the Management wants to change a financial condition (accommodation reimbursement) bypassing the concertation and without taking into account all the conditions.
The Management goals was clearly announced in the Finance Committee, still SAVINGS on the personnel budget.