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Mayday- Mayday Pensions going down

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Mayday, Mayday, Pensions going down (1/5/2005)


By threatening to call their members to a massive strike, in March 2005, a number of UK civil service unions managed in time to reverse the British government's decision to reduce their pension rights and to increase their pension-able age. We congratulate all those UK Officials for their massive Victory. This is in great contrast to what happened during the Reform, when the old majority sold out our rights, including our pensions.

Today, instead of admitting their errors, they persist in defending their actions and even go so far as to praise the effects of the Reform.

During a meeting with Commission President Barroso in January 2005, Giovanni Sergio, a leading member of Union Syndicale (US), stated that the Reform was a good thing and that it was now time for its consolidation much to the amazement of the real unionists present.

The Union Syndicale even defends its Reform against open-minded managers who are beginning to regret what looked like their victory.

In an article in the European Voice of 17 March 2005, the Secretary-General? of the European Parliament, Julien Priestley, announced his concern that low starting salaries would discourage many talented people from applying for jobs in the European Institutions.

He did not mention the pension cuts explicitly, but they are part of the bigger picture of more work for less money. In the same article, Alan Hick of US defended these low salaries and said that while basic salaries might now be lower, prospects for promotion are better.

He is obviously even more confused than the rest of us over the new grading/salary scale and promotion possibilities (which most staff seem to think become more distant with each passing CDR!). He probably also didn't know that in order for new officials to receive their first promotion they have to show proficiency in a third language (obviously an improvement on the old system!).

Confusing? Maybe. Exhausting, certainly.
Of course, this is a blatant display of disloyalty towards the staff, but what else does one expect from Union Syndicale and their allies.

It is worth recalling, though, that we constantly warned and informed staff of the dangers of the Reform throughout the negotiations.

Long before May 2004, we have repeatedly pointed out new disadvantages and inequalities which appear as the Administration plans and then implements the Reform.

There are significant negative differences between the articles of the old and the new Staff Regulations.

To find out about the damage done to our Pensions, simply read articles 77, 82 to 84, annex VIII art. 5, 9 and 9 bis.

This is where the new staff representation (the inter-institutional Alliance made up of 10 unions in Brussels, Luxembourg and other locations) has to act and to act decisively.

As we have seen in the UK, a united front can bring about change and even reverse bad decisions! So as a member of this Alliance, we call upon the other unions to present a common opposition to the Administration and show clearly that staff have had enough.

Up to now the Reform has brought only disadvantages to staff and through its new salary scales for new staff even menaces the existence of the institutions.

Discussions between Alliance unions and the administration are underway.
Our short-term goal is to extract as many fangs and claws from the Implementing Directives as possible.

The patience with which many colleagues have continued to work hard should not be misconstrued as docility, or cowardice, by the hierarchy. We will need to cause great difficulties before can hope to regain the rights signed away by the yellow unions.
Coreper needs to be exposed to many pressing arguments by individuals, groups and the whole of staff so that it eventually decides to get the money for patching up budget deficits from billionaires and corporations, rather than from us.

The social-partnership-talk is costing us 17.5% of our income.

Unions have overcome huge obstacles in their fight for pension rights in the New Labour UK.

Now let's try some resistance here. That is what the 1 of May is all about.

Created by: admin last modification: Tuesday 03 of June, 2008 [12:52:57 UTC] by admin

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