STAFF ASSOCIATION PUBLIC MEETING Q&A
The next Staff Association public meeting will take place on:
Friday 21 October at 09.30 a.m.
Council Chamber 503/1-001
This meeting will be an opportunity to give you update and the latest information on priorities and current issues.
Please find more information on the following link: : https://indico.cern.ch/event/1198813/
QUESTION & ANSWER
1)There are many people around who are unhappy in their current jobs but would be very motivated to work for a different group or department. Reasons can be multiple. Although heavily publicized, internal mobility only works if there are open slots. Any ideas to be more flexible?
The Staff Association supports internal mobility. We are aware of the process may sometimes be slow and frustrating.
The major obstacle remains the question of the post that a department does not wish to lose by allowing internal mobility to another department/sector. For years the SA has been asking for a common pot of available CERN-wide posts to be put in place to facilitate internal mobility. The argument has always been put aside by management, but discussions continue on the subject.
We would welcome any practical return of experience so that we can address to HR department with concrete facts and try improving the process.
2)In an edition of Echo, the SA stated, "the SA has always supported efforts to combat discrimination in all its forms". How is this compatible with your failure to accept LGBTQCERN as a SA Club? LGBTQCERN's constitution specifically stating that the group is open to everyone.
The Staff Association supports all the combats against discrimination in all forms. However, the Staff Association must be compliance with its Status, and in the Article I.1.3 (i) we can read the following, “Establishment, within the Association or under its aegis, of cultural, humanitarian, sports and recreation clubs”.
The LGTQ grouping has already been invited to the Staff Council to present itself, however the Council considered that the group does not fulfil the conditions reflected in the above-mentioned article, therefore it cannot become a club. The Staff Association had supported the idea of creating your group to allow you visibility.
3)It seems that there is a big drop in morale and motivation due to the budget cuts, lack of opportunities and expiring contracts with 0 chances of career evolution inside the organization. Any ideas to counter this?
Regarding the motivation, the Staff Association is participating in the sub-group of the Standing Concertation Committee (SCC) about career development. The first recommendation already approved by the SCC is already on going. It is a programme for Career Development discussion for ALL that are in personal positions or maximum grade today.
The Staff Association strongly recommends to the persons concerned to sign up for the discussion, it is the unique chance to voice your concerns, wishes and study eventual options. Your feedback on this programme will be appreciated. The SA knows that the monitoring of the results will be a key factor to see the success of the programme.
This working group has not finished the job and is working on different recommendations on how to keep or increase motivation at the beginning, medium and end of our carrier.
Regarding the budget cuts, and more especially on the possible personnel budget cuts, the Staff Association started informal discussions with Management in accordance with its request. If the personnel must do an effort, the Staff Association’s position is that the effort must be small, time-limited and compensated.
4)Please focus on pushing CERN management to be more modern and progressive and to pick better line managers. This would have the most positive impact on staff and will ensure the future of the organization that is getting obsolete.
The Staff Association cannot interfere in the selection process of line managers.
However, the Staff Association is internally treating these matters (Employment Conditions Commission) to make some proposals to improve the process. Some ideas were already discussed in the frame of the Work well feel well and Career development working groups. Ideas are also shared with the HR department, and we hope they can further discuss.
5)Has any progress been made to enable more Fellows/Graduates to advance in career inside CERN (with staff positions), since (old) Fellows won't be able to participate in the Graduate programme (which created a lot of new positions for new MPEs, but nothing for Fellows)?
The Graduate programme is a replacement of the Fellowship program; this is the reason why former fellows are not eligible for participation in it. here below you can see the percentage of Staff members recruited from Fellows over the last 5 years (2017 – 2021)
Figures extracted from the CERN Personnel Statistics 2021
6)What CERN plans to do with the fact that there are many people (mainly USERs) working at CERN without proper health care insurance? For CERN it would be easy to check this by demanding documents from universities (for users). Why is this not done? Especially for low-paid students
CERN negotiated with Allianz an updated health coverage for CERN Associated members of the personnel including Users and their accompanying family members since January 2022. The conditions and benefits provides an adequate health insurance cover in Switzerland and France, as well as in any countries visited on duty travel.
The Staff Association continues to defend that MPAs should have proper health and pension coverage. The design of mechanisms to ensure this is the case is under review with both CERN and the Experiments. This task is complicated by the vast diversity of personal situations of in the USER population. The SA agrees that solutions are needed especially when health and pension coverage are not offered in the home country.
7)At the moment it seems that the contribution from CERN to the pension fund stays with the pension fund and only the individual contribution is paid out to departing member of personnel who contributed for less than 5 years (mostly affecting fellows). Are you planning to initiate change here?
The entitlement of the transfer value is regulated by Article II 1.11 of the CERN Pension Fund Rules and Regulation, and indeed for those who contributed to the pension fund less than five years this is the only option.
The calculation is described in Article II 1.12 and is 14.7% of the reference salary for each of the first ten years of service.
The contributions are described in Article II 1.07 and for those who joined CERN on or after 1 January 2012 they are: member: 12.64%; Organization: 18.96%; total: 31.60%. So, the transfer value is about 2% higher than the individual contribution.
The question of transfer values is one of the main subjects discussed by a Working Group on PF Parameters and Factors, where the Staff Association participates actively. The conclusions of this Working Group will be reported probably next year.
8)What is the status of the SA supporting and adjusting the rights of MPAs to MPEs, especially with reference to having access to the CERN pension fund, remunerated maternity/paternity leave and unemployment insurance?
Firstly, we must clarify the differences between MPAs (Associated members of the personnel) and MPEs (Employed members of the personnel). MPAs are not employed by CERN, the social insurance coverage must be provided by their employer. It includes the pension, health insurance, remunerated maternity, paternity, and co-parent leave, Schoolfees, etc …
Consequently, the Staff Association can only have some requests for MPEs in these areas.
However, following the SA requests, a “Technical Working Group on Financial Resources of associated Members of Personnel employed by an external institute” continues its work on how to consider the negative impact of COLA taxation following Management’s decision in Dec 2020.
In addition, there is an ongoing request to clarify the definitions of an employment and collaboration contract wrt the national laws applicable in the home institutes.
9)If someone becomes sick and it's expected that the sick leave will exceed 12 months, in that case, can someone take out the UNIQA insurance right as their sick leave starts and then after 12 months get paid their full salary?
The Staff Association insurance against loss of earnings covers members of the Staff Association who can subscribe, on a voluntary basis, an insurance against loss of earnings, which makes up for the salary loss incurred over a period of a sliding 36-month period. You can subscribe here: Insurance against loss of salary | Staff Association (cern.ch)
According to Article R II 4.13 of the Staff Rules and Regulations: In any period of 36 months, full remuneration shall be paid for the first 12 months of sick leave, followed by two-thirds remuneration for 18 months.
It is important to know that all newly insured members are subject to a waiting period of one year before being entitled to the benefits of this cover.
10)Is the CVI the unique red line? Does that mean that the SA is considering a limited diminution of staff?
During the public meeting, we expressed that CVI was the red line, but we also address that any reduction of personnel is not acceptable for the Staff Association.
The Staff Association has already avoided during the last 5YR a modification of Annex A1: local salaries comparisons for technical and administrative staff (BMJ 3-4-5) however, that remains a potential threat.
11)The graduate program is particularly unattractive for the engineers and the software developers. Shouldn't the level of remuneration depend on the actual job? Reality is that a young graduate in HR won't get the same salary as a software engineer in the private sector.
The reduction of the stipends has been minimised by the Staff Association during the concertation process, however other social and financial conditions including the social coverage for all the new graduates are welcomed.
The Staff Association expects a close monitoring of the attractiveness of the programme.
 Where a member has less than five years of service upon termination of membership for a reason other than death or total disability, a transfer value shall be paid into another pension scheme or to the member himself or, at his request, the amount held by the Fund for a maximum period of one year. The member has one year to inform the Fund of his selection, failing which he shall be deemed to have chosen to have the transfer value paid to him.
 The transfer value is calculated on the basis of the final reference salary by adding the following amounts: a) 14.7% of the reference salary for each of the first ten years of service
 You can get a detailed information following this link Introduction of a new and improved “Allianz Care” healthcare plan for CERN MPAs as of 1 January 2022 | CERN (home.cern)