Représentants de U4U au CCP de la Commission
Vous pouvez contacter nos représentants, si besoin est.
The Staff Committees represent the interests of the staff vis-à-vis the Institution and contributes to the smooth running of the service. They are the equivalent of 'Work Council', 'Comité du personnel' or 'Comité d'entreprise' of middle to large companies in the private sector.
European Works Councils are bodies representing the European employees of a company. Through them, workers are informed and consulted by management on the progress of the business and any significant decision at European level that could affect their employment or working conditions. Member States are to provide for the right to establish European Works Councils in companies or groups of companies with at least 1000 employees in the EU or EEA, when there are at least 150 employees in each of two Member States (see directive 2006/109/EC).
In the European Commission, the Staff Committees are an elected statutory body which represent all officials and other agents of the Commission vis-à-vis the Administration and the College of Commissioners to ensure that the rules established by the Commission as regards staff are fully respected. Their function is:
The role and the function of the Staff Committee is
To this effect, the Staff Committees :
Therefore, the role of the Staff Committees is central to the protection of Staff interests, both collective and individual. The representatives in the statutory or joint committees play a crucial role to ensure that rules are applied with fairness in litigious cases.
The Staff Committee consists of:
The staff in each principle place of employment elects the members of the LSC. The LSC members elect among themselves the members of the CSC.
Composition of the CSC of the European Commission
Article 1 of Annex II of the Staff Regulations defines the role and competences of the statutory GA which are the following:
As a result, the GA is competent for the adoption/modification of the electoral rules applicable for its place of employment.
In application of the current electoral rules, the main role of the GA is to appoint the members of the electoral office and set the date of the elections but in no case the duration of the mandate established by the Staff Regulations (three years) can be extended.
Duration of mandates
Article 1 of Annex II to the Staff Regulations provides: "The Staff Committee shall comprise the members thereof, together with their alternates if any, whose term of office shall be three years. The appointing authority of each institution may, however, decide to fix a shorter term of office, which may not be less than one year." As a result, if the duration mandate of Staff Committee members can be shortened by decision of the AIPN, it cannot be extended beyond 3 years.
It should be clarified that this is not an issue of rules being imposed by the Administration but pertains to the legal framework set by the Staff Regulations. In that regard, the very existence and competences granted to the GA are foreseen by the Staff Regulations which are a higher ranking legal norm than the electoral regulation and which binds the GA. The sovereignty of the GA is constrained by its competences as granted by the staff regulations.
The competence of the statutory GA in the context of electoral process is only to appoint the members of electoral office and set the elections date within the limits of the 3 years mandate established by the Staff Regulations.
Any motion which would consist in requesting the creation or deletion of a local section of the Staff Committee is outside the scope of competence of the GA as the decision on the organisation of the Staff Committee in local sections rests exclusively with the Administration. Such motions will have no legal and binding effect of any kind.
Can points not communicated to staff in advance be added to the agenda of the "Statutory General Assembly"? Additional points can be added to the agenda as long as they are communicated in advance to staff members. If they are added to the agenda during the meeting, such points should be approved by vote of the attendants. Yet, for these additional points to produce any "effet utile" they should fall within the scope of competences of the GA.
Is the General Assembly allowed to demand to apply a linguistic regime that is more restrictive than the one formally in place (use of EN, FR, DE as working languages)? How should the languages of the hosting country where the local section is located, be treated? Article 342 TFUE provides that "[t]he rules governing the languages of the institutions of the Union shall, without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, be determined by the Council, acting unanimously by means of regulations".
Pursuant to Article 342 TFEU, Regulation No 1 determining the languages to be used by the EEC (OJ 17, 6.10.1958, p. 385) was adopted. It derives therefrom that the working languages of the Commission are the same as the EU official languages [i.e. the 24 languages]. Yet, for historical reasons, EN DE FR are the only working languages used in practice within the Commission. In addition, only the EU institutions are competent to stipulate in their rules of procedure which of the languages are to be used in specific cases, the General Assembly has no competence in that regard.
It follows from these considerations that the General Assembly cannot apply a restrictive linguistic regime to participating staff members. As a result, staff members can choose to express themselves for example in FR, DE, EN, ES or IT. Any restrictive linguistic regime could infringe the freedom of expression of the attendants.
Nonetheless, it should also be borne in mind that DG SCIC does not provide interpretation for internal meetings and staff members should be informed that no interpretation will be ensured during the General Assembly. Depending on the chosen language they will have to run the risk of not being understood by a majority of participants.
Equality of participants
Is it acceptable that members of Trade Unions may benefit of longer time for their interventions compared to other staff? The Chairman of the General Assembly, i.e. the president of the local section of the staff committee, is responsible for policing the discussions and votes. In accordance with article 1 of Annex II to the Staff Regulations, (i) every official of the institution shall be entitled to vote and stand for election (as well as other servants under the conditions set in article 7 of the CEOS) and (ii) the General Assembly is constituted of the officials and other agents of the Institution in service at the relevant place of employment. Therefore, granting longer times of intervention to members of the OSP in comparison to other staff members could indeed give rise to accusations of unequal treatment. As a consequence each attendant can take the floor during an equal time slot defined by the chair of the GA.
Participants from other places of employment
Is staff not belonging to the local section allowed to take the floor during the GA? The Chairman of the GA can give the floor to staff members who are not employed in the local section, but should make sure that such staff members do not vote as it would violate the Staff Regulations.
NB. This article is about the 'Statutory General Assemblies'. OSP can also call for 'General Meetings' (Assemblées générales) with a view to consulting the Staff or deciding industrial actions.
The DG HR of the European Commission wants to review how the
social dialog is conducted. In a note
addressed to all trade-unions, DG HR calls for ideas and contributions with a
view to opening a formal concertation (Nov 2017)
Note de travail : Propositions de U4U sur la réforme de la représentation du personnel (Fev 2018)
The central function of a trade union is to represent people at work and to protect their interests.
The existence of strong and recognized trade unions is a pre-requisite to industrial peace. Decisions taken through the process of collective bargaining and negotiations between employer and unions are more influential. Trade unions are helpful in effective communication between the workers and the management. They provide the advice and support to ensure that the differences of opinion do not turn into major conflicts. They also play an important educational role, organizing courses for their members on a wide range of matters. Seeking a healthy and safe working environment is also prominent feature of union activity.
Role of a Trade Union
Trade unions are organisations that represent people at work. Their purpose is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of employment. They also campaign for rules and policies which will benefit working people.
Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. By joining together with other workers, there is more chance of having a voice and influence.
Trade unions aim to further its members' interests, inter alia by :
Most "collective bargaining" takes place quietly and agreements are eventually reached by the union and the employer. Occasionally disagreements do occur and the two sides cannot agree. In these cases, the union may decide to take industrial action. Industrial action takes different forms: it could mean an over time ban, a work-to-rule or a strike...
Role in the European Commission
The Trade Unions defend the general interest of the staff of the Institution. They maintain stable and structured relations with the Administration, even though they are not statutory organs.
The Agreement on Relations between the European Commission and the Trade Unions and Staff Associations ("Framework Agreement") defines that social dialogue may relate to any matters relating to staff policy and the working conditions of officials and other servants.
However concertation procedures can only apply to a modification of the existing rules or a creation of new rules, without prejudice to the statutory competences of the Staff Committee. Concertations may be held on administrative (with the Director of the relevant services), technical (with DG HR) and political (with the Commissionner in charge of HR) levels.
U4U is a general union that represents staff from several Institutions belonging to the European Union or being considered as European intergovernmental organisations.
Why should you join a Trade Union and this one in particular ?
Unions are made up of the people who want to have their voice heard, their interests promoted, their claims presented to the employer. If you stay out, you will have no or little influence.
Unions are effective. Of course, they cannot completely reverse a political trend that results from general elections. But they often can limit the adverse effects of policies and negotiate changes to a project. The capacity of unions to resist and negotiate is a direct result of the volume of their membership and influence in social elections. In other words, the strength of a Union comes from its members and no other source.
U4U is an organisation that is non-bureaucratic, assertive, creative and full of fighting spirit. Contrary to some other unions, you can easily participate to shaping our policies and elaborating our claims. All you have to do is to turn in our internal meetings (see invitations on the home page of this website) and become an active member.
Not all trade unions are the same.
Do you need more information ? Try our Frequently Asked Questions
Further reading : yes, Trade Unions are good for the economy !
Trade unions recognise that organisations must be competitive in the global markets if they are to be successful and provide secure employment for employees.
Trade unions have an important role in:
Europe's most successful companies are ones where unions are recognised. Mutatis mutandis, this applies to the European Institutions. They also rely on their staff for reaching their objectives. They also constantly need to adapt to a changing environment. They also need their Unions.
U4U is a constructive partner, committed to a socially responsible European Union.
un texte qui a influencé la réflexion aboutissant à la création de U4U : La
représentation du personnel en question.
Further reading : Who is the boss ?
In a private company, employees know who is the boss. But in a European institution ? The hierarchy, the HR administration, the appointing authority, the head of the institution, the legislator and, down the line, the Council, which is formed of Member States, all have a decisive power on our Staff Regulations and their implementing regulations, on the budget (which defines available posts and missions), on day-to-day decisions such as restructuring, mobility, promotions, continuation or discontinuation of contracts…
To complicate matters, the Commission is the primus inter pares which shapes by its own decisions the HR policy of other institutions and Agencies.
Of course, this complex structure is used by the employer to divide and rule.
This is why it is very important for a European trade-Union to be a general Union, able to be present in all institutions, in order to maintain unity in the social dialogue and to speak with one voice to all stakeholders.
Unfortunately, the staff is sometimes seduced by Unions who are present in one structure only. These in-house Unions claim to be closer to the staff and to be more familiar with the local situation. However, in truth, they are instrumental in the employers’ divide et impera policy. They are not effective negotiators because they lack access to the ‘big picture’. In the European Institutions ; the huge number of small Trade Unions is a major weakness that the Staff pays dearly.