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The Financial Crisis in the EU Civil Service


The Financial Crisis in the EU Civil Service

What is Happening?

The way this current part of the crisis will play is as predictable as the future can be. Council blocks the contractual pay increase. It is sued. The Court of Justice forces it to fulfil its legal obligations. Staff receive the money owed them, plus interest.

Why do the governments of at least 18 Member States deliberately break a law that they themselves have agreed to, when they have very little hope of getting away with the crime that they are committing against themselves?

It is true that their taxpayers will have to pay the money wasted on legal expenses and compound interest, but that is not sufficient to explain why they seem to be setting themselves up for a defeat in Court.

There are several explanations. One is that politicians are anxious to gain and retain the support of the wealthiest 2% of the population; the people who own half of the wealth and most of the media on earth. Politicians simply borrowed the ransom to pay the mass extortion of 2009 (aka "financial crisis", please see 1.

Paying off these trillions will mean Swedish taxes for the public services and infrastructure of Burkina Faso (no slur intended!) over decades, perhaps a century. One of the oldest strategies for solving such politicians' dilemmas is to single out a group of people who seem too weak to fight back effectively, but who can be painted as a satanic threat in the privatized public opinion of the commercial media.

Because most media are well enough disciplined to shout about the attack on our salaries now and to whisper about the defeat in the Court of Justice later, scapegoating is probably on many politicians' minds.

Another part of the explanation is that staff and its organisations are being probed ahead of the renegotiation of the Method. This factor carries little weight because our weakness is all too well known.

Recall that the biggest union continues to say that its active support for the Kinnock Reform was the best possible option back in 2003 and 2004 ( please see

Since the pressure on us has grown in the years since then, that union is very likely to repeat its performance; simply sign some offer put on the table without consulting the rest of Staff, never mind practicing solidarity.

Looking back a few years is worrying. Even looking back just a few weeks adds to our apprehension. Plenty of unions reported breathlessly about the planned pay hike, almost as though they had something to do with it.

The facts and figures reported did not always agree completely, but those little slip-ups are understandable in the rush to get votes.

There was even one that warned colleagues about a "lot of gossip going around" and called for calm, writing that the "only real constraint is budgetary, as budgeting for a pay rise of salaries (sic) is impossible considering we (sic) do not know its extent as it is dependent on future inflation (siiiiiiiic!)" in obviously hasty English.

That last statement of theirs is simply false; do not let it mislead you, but almost all of the information presented by the unions is correct.

Our opponents are already well aware of the various weaknesses of our unions. But perhaps they want to check on their best ally in the struggle to lower our income; apathy. Because "apathy" = "the politicians' power", they want to be sure that it continues to grow.

The third factor that comes to mind is that politicians are starting early. They may be concerned that if a majority of Staff turns active, it will become difficult to dictate the new Method.

If stiff resistance (on the part of you, dear reader, yes, I mean you) leads to very lengthy negotiations, there might be no "New Method" in place at the end of 2012.

From their point of view that would be a "disaster" because of the "danger" that the Old Method might have to be used for another year, or two, or three …. until the "golden opportunity" (for the billionaires and mega corporations) has been lost (Please see a , b , c , d , e , f , each at the very bottom).
Those among us who are not even millionaires will see things in a different light.

Now, What Do We Do?

It is a little odd to go on strike for money that will have be paid to us under a Court of Justice verdict a bit later, but with interest.

However, such a strike will allow us to gauge the level of mobilization among Staff. If large parts of the apathetic majority chose to wake up for once in their lives, that result would be very helpful when the Method itself is renegotiated.

If there were to be exactly 0% mobilization we could expect circa 50% cuts to our income over the coming decade or two.

It will probably not be the "Death by a Thousand Cuts" that the bosses of the Triads love to impose, but there will most certainly not be one clean painless decapitation.

We will more likely face frequent losses of real income, due to a "reformed" Method, cuts in pensions, increases in charges and costs to staff, and a benevolent extension of our working lives up to the biological limits set by the Grim Reaper.

Turning to the more encouraging side of things; every act of patient, subtle resistance counts towards our defence. It would be enough if circa 50% of us would occasionally launch a (non-violent) guerrilla style counter attack against those who seek to lower our standard of living. With 75% + getting involved, we could launch a counter offensive with a view to clawing back some of the money and time that were signed away by some of "our representatives".

Can you imagine that?

The conventional strikes work best where the product or service that the strikers are holding back is something needed every day or week like public transportation, sanitation, etc. Our products take years from the initial proposal to the final, fully implemented program or regulation.

That makes it hard to exert real pressure with a strike lasting "only" a few weeks. A second problem is that some influential members of the plutocratic 2% would break out the champagne if all of us here in the civil service went on an unlimited strike, or better yet dropped dead right now, because they prefer to run the EU without our "interference".

The two groups among us who can put our bosses through some tangible discomfort are the translators and interpreters.
At least people will have a good laugh when some of these supposedly multilingual ladies and gentlemen try to speak and write in their second or third language without professional help.

An ideal scenario would involve partnering every striking language specialist with one or more of us into a group that can provide human solidarity and financial support.

Some of the internal regulations under which we try to work are very difficult to follow 100%. Well, if the staff-boss relation deteriorates, it might become too risky for us to "cut corners" by following the rules only 90%.

For your own safety, we might soon have to advise you to take the extra time to comply exactly 100.0% with all regulations, unless a boss gives you written instructions to act otherwise.

The EP has been the co-signer of the EU budget for a while. Now the European Parliament has become co-legislator for our Staff Regulations, thanks to the Treaty of Lisbon.

Do you remember who "your" MEP is?

If not, please find out on 3 and write them an email in their first language.

Ask where they stand on our Staff Regulations and explain to them that there is no justification for cutting your income while throwing trillions at the banks.

You can borrow ideas for your MEP-email from the websites of the unions. We would appreciate it if you put SID in cc. If they don't reply within a couple of weeks, phone their office.

Our Brussels based colleagues can achieve much by visiting the EP offices in person to communicate directly with our colleagues who work there (and are being threatened along with us).

If the MEP happens to be in, so much the better.

If not, one can always ask for an appointment. Each such visit brings our salaries closer to security; a thousand visits would have a dramatic effect.

Naturally, a formal petition under Parliament's rules is our right as citizens and could become a useful option soon.

So there you have three examples of subtle patient resistance that are designed to supplement the strike.
If you have more ideas, please share them with us and the other readers. We will not lift a finger for those who remain passive at their colleagues' expense, but we will gladly help you to defend yourself.

Michael Ashbrook
SID president

S olidarity with those who work for their money
I ndependence from those who don't
D emocracy in all decisions taken by groups of sane, adult humans

SID - Solidarity, Independence, Democracy is an independent Trade Union of all EU Institutions employees (Je souhaite adhérer au SID…)

Created by: admin last modification: Friday 11 of December, 2009 [14:55:26 UTC] by admin

wiki page: Roth Behrent DE 01 · Roth Behrent EN 01 · Roth Behrent FR 01 · Eating Your Own Words · Ministry of Truth · Nobel EU 01 · Art 27 02 · Art 27 03 · Art 27 04 · Art 27 01 · Financial Crisis Light 01 · Financial Crisis Light tunnel 01 · Comments and Views from Swedish EU officials on the forthcoming Review of the Staff Regulations for Officials of the EU Institutions · Kommentarer / synpunkter från svenska EU-anställda med anledning av den kommande revideringen av anställningsvillkoren inom EU · Swede Rep SE · Swede Rep EN · Income Support 01 · Manipulera statistiken och gläd politikerna · Nej till nedskärningar i EU anställdas arbetstillfällen, förmåner, pensioner och hälsovård · Hammered EU Staff employee remunerations · SID au sujet du compte-rendu de l'état de l'Union en 2011 donnée par Président José Manuel Durão à Strasbourg · Express versus SID · Negotiations Hallucinations 01 · soit 40 réduction · soit 40 reduction · soit 40% réduction · heart full o gratitude 02 · heart full o gratitude 01 · X Depenses administratives économies · X Depenses administratives �conomies · Slim Cat 01 · Adaptation des rémunérations : le Conseil a violé le Statut Luttons ensemble pour le respect de la légalité · Allocations scolaires et bourses CEDIES luxembourgeoises · 52.3 % of the votes = 85 % of the seats. Is this in the interest of Staff? · SID on president José Manuel Durão Barroso's State of the Union Address 2011 speech in Strasbourg · X ChamberPot 01 · Goin Viral 01 · Shp Wrecked 03 · Shp Wrecked 02 · ShipoWrecked 01 · Same Job but at Half Salary · Contempt of Court Contempt of Luxembourg · SID questions Commission proposal to reform once again the EU Staff Regulations · Bad News from Commission · X01 01 · Une déclaration de guerre du Conseil contre le Service public européen · Charte Européenne des Droits fondamentaux : Dernière forteresse de l'espérance ? · Regarding collective action of SJE and SID against our salary cuts · Clinging to EU charter of Fundamental Rights as the best bastion of hope · Allocations scolaires nouvelles dispositions administratives concernant l’article 67, paragraphe 2, du Statut · Budget Line 26 01 02 11 · Less money on the table for our next METHOD · The METHOD, what would it look like on 1/1/2013? · No Double Taxation at the United Nations · All you ever wanted to know about SID · The Grand Duke giveth and the Commission taketh, praised be the Commission · To recover salary losses incured to me as a result of the Council decision of December 2009 · The Financial Crisis in the EU Civil Service · Our Salaries and the EU Law · Double Taxation: When Will it be Your Turn? · Double Taxation: How to Beat the Heat · No to Economic Cannibalism Yes to Social Democracy and Co-decision · Mayday- Mayday Pensions going down · Pensions and Salary · Roadmap to equal pensions · Save 2000 Jobs petition to European Parliament · The Holmquist Reform · The method decrypted · What do you think of the way AD9s / AST9 are treated · What we do not know hurts us · Le rapport Holmquist · les cdr l ultimatum et le referendum · le douteux processus de certification de monsieur kallas · Conclusions · How the method sometimes malfunctions · Histoire de l egalite de Pension hommes femmes · dubious kallas certification process · EPSO Tests for Contractual Agents Sources for the Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning Test · Discrimination against Contractual Agents · Devaluation du personnel de la commission · articles 64 and 65 · Annex XI · 2000 job cuts and what we did about it · Was halten Sie von der Kinnock Reform · The Holmquist Report and Where it Came from and Where it Should Go · The Reform From Empty Promises to Empty Pockets · The CDR- the Ultimatum and the Referendum · Kallas CDR reform · Downgrading the Commission staff · Do you remember that 2000 Jobs were to go in 2006 · CDR COMPASS SCOP and the unfortunate Officials · Will it solve your promotion problems · Le REC de Kallas pas une potion magique · Kallas CDR Ultimatum in Spanish · Die CDR- das Ultimatum und das Referendum · CDR in Hungarian ·

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