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G2004 or a Tale of New-Bees and Old-Timers
Reform
Trade Unions
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Generation 2004 or a Tale of "New-Comers" and "Old-Timers"


In Brussels, Generation 2004 fielded an independent list for the 2012 Staff Committee elections. They gained the second largest share of the mandates, which is a spectacular success because they left most of the established unions far behind at the polls.

The reader will recall that colleagues who entered the service after the 2004 Kinnock Deform are receiving substantially less money for doing the same jobs as those who were hired before 01.05.2004.

Some people speak euphemistically of a "Kinnock Reform", but it really left us deformed.

Their success is one reason to comment. Another lies in the attempts to criticize the G2004 during the campaign. In essence, the old-timers accused the new-comers of dividing staff at a time at which it should be united.

With Whom?

Don’t let SID scare you with the truth, but staff was divided by the Kinnock Deform of 2004. The line of compromise between the Commissioner and the established unions was to protect those officials already in place with some seniority at the expense of all those who were yet to enter the service. (A defector from the Executive Committee of what was then the biggest “union” reported that this was a deliberate strategy on their part. The sad facts are as follows. All established unions signed off on the Kinnock Deform. To their credit it must be said that the representatives of the biggest union were third in line when staff rights were surrendered to the Commission. None of SID's members voted for the Deform in 2003-2004. Frustration over perceived hypocrisy was one of our reasons for starting an independent union in 2007.)
Almost all of the established union leaders of today were involved in the ruinous compromise with management that was “negotiated” at the beginning of the century. Most of the people who had entered our service in the early 1990s or before were misinformed about what was happening behind closed doors and honestly believed what the union leaders told them. At worst, they could be accused of not being sceptical enough. It is understandable that the G2004 decided not to unite with unions that had made them second class employees.

Against Whom?

The G2004 demand “Equal Pay for Equal Work” is an old principle of European law and of the most basic ethics (this side of slavery and the caste system). Fair pay for all colleagues and defence of each person's income are two equally important goals. There are plenty of groups that work to defend the incomes of those with 20+ years of seniority which is legitimate. Now there is a new force that concentrates on “Equal Pay for Equal Work”. That is not a problem for the old-timers. It is part of the solution for all of us.

Under Whom?

AD10+ officials with 20+ years of seniority are somewhat over-represented at that the top of the subsidized unions. Some of them have been reassigned to DG Human Resources as professional staff representatives for over a decade. Because of their accumulated experience and for reasons of elementary social psychology, they wield a great deal more influence than their numbers and even their official titles would imply. When senior unionists who have retired from the service and resigned from all their mandates return to preside over meetings, they demonstrate their non-official power.

In 2012 no G2004 can have even ten years of seniority. Because of broken promises, few among them have gotten anywhere near grade AD10. Thousands among them are precarious Contract Agents.

True enough; the entrenched union leaders have been elected, re-elected, re-re-elected, re-re-re-elected. But it is doubtful that the most senior unionists can understand the plight of the G2004, even if they sincerely try to. These justified doubts led the new-comers to put their faith in each other.

And Now?

SID is free to co-operate, loosely or closely, with the G2004 in the quest for as much equity as we can squeeze out of our neo-conservative hierarchy. This is because we have never accepted a cent from the bosses, an attitude that sets us apart from most other unions.

So far, the G2004 have emphasized that they are not a union in the conventional sense, and like SID, they have not been subsidized. If they resist the temptation of financial support from the Commission, we are up for close cooperation. Should they decide otherwise, we will cooperate more loosely, as we already do with four other unions.

Currently, one third of staff are G2004 and their share grows with each passing month. They will be in a majority long before 2020. The constant jurisprudence of the Court of Justice protects the acquired pensions of old-timers, but that should be a reason for solidarity, not for apathy. Wise old-timers know that they can defend their own interests best by helping the new-bees.

And here, SID has been pro-active. The biggest threat to G2004 lies in the proposed suppression of 5%, or even 10% of the posts. This deform means extra work and fewer promotions for the next generation. That is why everyone should sign our petition to the European Parliament .







Created by: admin last modification: Friday 20 of July, 2012 [17:34:31 UTC] by admin

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