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Decrypting the METHOD


3. Conclusions

How safe is our purchasing power? Not absolutely, to say the least. Remember the scandal that leading ESTAT officials were entangled in and that made news in the summer of 2005? Suppose that ESTAT is now squeaky clean. There are 27 more problems in the form of the Member States that provide data to ESTAT. Greece provided "data" proving that it fulfilled the Maastricht criteria for entry into the Monetary Union. And pigs have wings. During the past few years, France and Italy revised salary data that they had sent to Luxembourg with a significant impact on the calculation of our salaries. The optimists among might conclude that these are shining examples of government integrity. Realists will wonder whether the other six members of the salary calculating sample make no mistakes, or whether they just don't bother to correct them because they can save money, at our expense, that way.

In view of that, it is good that ESTAT voluntarily allows staff representatives to participate in the salary meetings. It will be even better when we get the right to be represented and to co-decision.

Calls for introducing a correction coefficient to help the Luxembourg colleagues were already a little dubious in the past because they could only be satisfied by revising the Regulation that embodies the method. That revision in turn would require the assent of Council, which has traditionally done its worst to lower our incomes. In the present global financial crisis it would be very irresponsible to give Council such a golden opportunity to cut our salaries and pensions. This is not unfair to our colleagues in Luxembourg because any gains that they might achieve would be offset by Council-imposed cuts, leaving them even worse off than they already are.

The more colleagues get involved in checking and double checking the data and the methods used to calculate our incomes, the better. We have every reason to insist that all parts of the Regulation are applied, not just those that save money at our expense. By doing this we can defend our rights. Some unions are asking the Commission to make improvements that do not require a renegotiation with Council. Regular readers of SID material will understand why we are sceptical about the prospects of success, but at least these initiatives can do almost no harm..

The most responsible thing to do is to defend the method stubbornly until the automatic renegotiation date in 2012, and to resist the Council's "improvements" then. The outcome will depend less on this union or that leader than on the amount of patient subtle resistance that is practiced by you and your colleagues during the coming three years; intelligent action gets satisfaction.

In conclusion, any request to change the way our remunerations and pensions are calculated requires a change to the METHOD. Considering what the Council planned to do to us in 2006 by attempting to cut 2000 jobs then under the current global financial crisis it is extremely unwise to tear up our valid contract, ie the Method, and ask the Council to draw up a new contract on our remunerations

Created by: admin last modification: Monday 10 of November, 2008 [20:46:39 UTC] by admin

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