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Mobility of ASTs & AST/SCs at the EP: U4U writes to Mr Klaus Welle

Dear Secretary General

You recently decided, unilaterally, to implement your policy of compulsory mobility for AST/AST SCs.

This policy was imposed and implemented by the administration, without consulting either the staff committee or staff representatives.

The mobility of SC ASTs/ASTs within Parliament has been made compulsory without any thought being given to who is affected, when and under what conditions. We still do not know which jobs are exempt from mobility.

Yet such a decision required genuine negotiation with the Staff Committee. Imposing it without any discussion or measures to confirm its merits (career development, dissemination of best practices/knowledge/know-how within the institution) and to neutralise its collateral effects (discontinuity of services, difficulties in reconciling with private life) is not part of effective and motivating human resources management to provide a quality public service.

If civil servants are at the disposal of their administration, they are not so under just any conditions. It is neither urgency, nor a crisis situation, nor a professional imperative, nor the interest of the service that guides the compulsory mobility of AST/AST SC, especially not on the eve of the 2019 elections. Service continuity, on the other hand, will have to fear disorganisation and demotivation among its officials and agents.

The Staff Regulations refer to the interests of the service as the imperative for periodic mobility, and not necessarily that of all officials and other staff. The procedures are laid down by the Appointing Authority after consulting the Staff Committee. However, the Staff Committee must be genuinely consulted and not informed at the last minute for purely cosmetic reasons, and its recommendations disregarded.

For many colleagues, compulsory mobility would mean expatriation, with considerable consequences for their families, without prior notice or accompanying and transitional measures, even though expatriation had never been the subject of an explicit clause in their contract or job description. Legitimate expectations are being violated.

A few years before retirement, are we seriously considering moving an AST from a department where he or she is performing well to a department where he or she has everything to learn, knowing that it takes about a year to adapt and three to become fully operational? What are the benefits to the departments of these forced, unhappy and unsupported moves? If we don’t care about the human cost, do we care about the public purse?

Mobility should remain an opportunity, encouraged by lifelong training measures and intelligent career management. It would benefit from remaining voluntary and supported within the framework of a human resources policy that is precisely humane, effective and motivating.

Mr Secretary General, come and sit down at the negotiating table with staff representatives. Let us find ways, together, to make mobility an attractive part of career paths and in the service of the European Parliament’s missions.

March 2018

Posts reclassified as AST/SC

Some colleagues have seen their posts reclassified as AST/SC in SYSPER, which has worried them all, given their loss of confidence in the institution.

Under no circumstances does this mean a downgrading, nor does it affect your personal career prospects (apart, of course, from the AST9 ceiling which applies to those who have already passed the attestation and to post-2004 ASTs. Ex-D colleagues will be able to reach AST 6, and ex-C colleagues who have not passed the attestation will be able to reach AST 7).

DG HR has clumsily tried to manage the establishment plan and reclassify certain posts for the future. This administrative information should never have found its way into your personal SYSPER. The Central Staff Committee has asked for this information to be deleted, at our initiative. U4U has contacted DG HR to ask for a communication to be sent to staff with a view to re-establishing the facts and, above all, deleting the contentious information from SYSPER.

As a result, the people affected remain ASTs in transition, but their rights remain unchanged under the new Staff Regulations.

Some unions have made a big fuss about this problem and encouraged colleagues to lodge complaints under art. 90 of the Staff Regulations. This is totally pointless, as DG HR’s ill-advised measure does not give rise to any grievances.

31 March 2014