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One Small Step for Contract Agents One Giant Step for Fixed Term Workers
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One Small Step for Contract Agents

One Giant Step for Fixed Term Workers


Late on the evening of the 08.09.2011 the EP's Petitions Committee decided to pass 192(2009) on to the Legal Affairs Committee. See at the very end of the video clip. This is more important than it might appear to a casual observer.

First; the Commission argued for discarding 192(2009) as best it could, both orally and in writing. Well, their best just wasn't good enough. Some of their arguments were so clumsy that one might say "With enemies like that, SID needs no friends!"

Second; some of the MEPs who have been the Contract Agents' friends had to be absent on Thursday evening. Jarek Walesa has had a motorcycle accident and was unconscious, in intensive care at that time. Among the many people who wish him a complete recovery are Contract Agents and SID. Perhaps some of our readers will send their best wishes too. You may imagine SID's nervousness during the last days before the meeting. What saved 192(2009) was the fact that Dr Jahr had done his homework and knew about the petition by the time his office was contacted. He has our gratitude and respect.

Third; other petitions on behalf of Contract Agents have garnered as much as ten times the signatures that ours had. Considering that SID is small and unsubsidized, it is entirely normal that the big, subsidized unions outperform us in sheer volume. Those big petitions are addressed to world at large, or laughably to the Commission which drafted our unfair Staff Regulations. It would be wonderful if people who make between 14 000and 16 000 EUROs per month would help the Contract Agents, but that just has not happened yet. Council and EP are the co-legislators for our Staff Regulations, so even the biggest petitions must be addressed to them if there is to be any hope of improvement. Today, SID's modest petition is near the halfway point of its long journey through the labyrinth of lawmaking, so Contract Agents will have to wait for justice a few more years, but not eternally.

Fourth; the details of our Staff Regulations are handled by the Legal Affairs Committee. And that is exactly where 192(2009) is headed. There is no reason to think that a majority of these Parliamentarians deliberately wrote the anti Contract Agent discrimination into the current statute. That was slipped past them in the tsunami of draft legislation that has exceeded the 80 000 page limit some time ago. We have good reason to hope that with a little more explanation and persuasion, a majority will vote in favour of Contract Agents.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, some people have begun to worry about the time after 192(2009) because Contract Agents often come the Institution's home country or from those Member States that combine above average unemployment with low incomes. Those sceptics place "geographical balance" above the right of each EU citizen to compete with all her/his peers for a job in the public service. The Collective of Contract Agents and SID are colour blind and internationalist they place the individual's birthright ahead of nation states' interests. Not to worry; there is nothing in the Charter of Fundamental Rights about so-called "geographical balance". But it is good to hear the conservatives worry about the Contract Agents' initiative.

Better yet; well-informed sources report that some high ranking HR bosses have said that they no longer oppose the right of Contract Agents to take part in our Internal Competitions. Always remember that it is Parliament and the Council who legislate our Staff Regulations. Even the DG of HR cannot touch that, so we are pleased, but we must and will continue to communicate with Parliament.

That brings us to you. If you are a Contract Agent, or someone who dislikes unfair discrimination, 192(2009) needs your support. Nearly all MEPs are open to contacts with concerned citizens like us. Emails are nice. Phone calls are better. Prearranged personal visits are best. You have the right to do this autonomously, completely on your own. If you like, you can work within the framework of SID or of the Collective of Contract Agents, without having to join. Whatever your choice, please keep us informed so that we do not wastefully duplicate your efforts.

Created by: admin last modification: Monday 19 of September, 2011 [10:23:53 UTC] by admin

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