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Inequity among staff categories mainly in Education Allowances


Inequity among staff categories mainly in Education Allowances

In Arabic

On 29 September 2010, an e-mail about education allowances for 2010/2011 was sent to the entire EU staff, including local agents. However, it appeared that the education allowances mentioned were intended to all the EU staff except the local agents! And that the local agents working in the EU Delegations had no such rights while they work with the expatriates and often do the same job … The question is: why should they be treated differently?

We all know the decision taken by the EC to employ local staff under the local employment regulations but, as everybody knows and the EC headquarters better than anybody else, the local employment regulations are far from meeting the European "acquis" and need deep amendments to converge towards this "acquis" and to improve the living standards of the local population. This is the ultimate purpose for which the EU offers aid and support to different sectors in the developing countries. Consequently, it is hard to understand why the EU does not employ local staff under better conditions than those provided by the local regulations.

As far as education allowances are concerned, in most of the countries where the EU is represented by delegations, public schools and public universities have little resources and provide a poor level of education. Consequently, most citizens and most local agents (if not all) enrol their kids in the same private schools as the expatriates with the only difference that local agents don't receive state education allowances and, if they do, these allowances don't even cover transportation fees.

A small survey conducted in a Delegation of a Mediterranean partner country of the EU showed that a local agent, head of household, belonging to group V with 2 children at school, spends more than 18% of his total yearly revenue the school tuitions of his children (excluding other fees such as transportation and lunch), whereas a senior local staff spends more than 25% of his total yearly revenue for the university tuitions of his 2 kids.

The survey also showed that, in the same Delegation, local staff school allowances entitlement varies between 100 and 250 EUR per child and per year, i.e. less than 1,3% of the yearly revenue of a group V local staff member. These allowances do not even cover transportation fees! In such conditions, we ask how a group V local staff member can envisage providing a good higher education to his children. Local staff in all the Delegations faces the same problem.

It is hard to accept that the European Union, which acts worldwide to improve social justice, behaves unequally with its own different categories of employees and prevents its local employees from providing their children with the same education than its European ones! This inequity is also present in many other issues as holidays, special leaves, medical coverage, pension fund, retirement plan, etc…

As the Dalai Lama said: "Of all the various delusions, the sense of discrimination between oneself and others is the worst form, as it creates nothing but unpleasant”. This inequity of treatment creates a sense of bitterness for the local agents.

Created by: admin last modification: Wednesday 13 of October, 2010 [17:05:00 UTC] by admin

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