This is TikiWiki CMS/Groupware v1.9.11 -Sirius- © 2002–2008 by the Tiki community Mon 26 of Feb, 2018 [01:48 UTC]
Last actions

X Dialogue Director 01

Dialogue with a Director
A Director Replies to SID's Original Message (below)

Dear M. Ashbrook,

In reply to your mail below, please find herewith some factual data that will allow you to better understand some elements of DGT's planned reorganisation:
– today DGT has 13 trans-ardennais units, in the new structure there will be no more than 15
– the number of units will be cut by 22, but less than 10 Heads of Unit will be assigned to an adviser post
- the number of translators for the Web will not decrease
- DGT's Director General has instored(sic) a structural dialogue with all staff as well as with staff representatives and will continue to do so.

Kind regards,
A Director

P.S. You might explain what you mean with 26,5% cuts in benefits for translators?

SID Answers Back

Dear Director,

I reply to points that you have made as follows.

- 13 scattered units already? Oh my, what will Parliament say?
- That's good news.
- Let me spell out the concern of the www-translators. In DGT there is no participatory democracy at work whatsoever. We are still waiting for Europe to catch up with Austria & Germany on that track. Once the www-unit is fragmented, the new Heads of Units will be free to impose ever increasing non-www tasks on the ex-www-translators. Given the announced cuts, it is predictable that texts which simply must be translated will crowd out the informational/PR material. Le Pen and Wilders will rejoice.
- How sad that the entire GA and very nearly all translators are slandering their well-intentioned DG so maliciously. Why are they doing such an awful thing? Have they all gone mad?

Your P.S. We calculated 26.5% by adding up all the announced cuts in money (salaries, levy, pension contributions, pensions, fringe benefits) then we converted the cuts in terms of working time (daily, yearly, lifelong) and added them in. The final 5% are the post that management wants to destroy; the remaining 95% will have to do that work, plus new tasks without being paid extra. Come to think of it, 10% of the translating posts are to be eliminated, leading to a loss of nearly one third for those who remain behind. Your surprise is probably due to the absence of this number in the publications of other unions. Being a vegetarian, I despise salami tactics!

Seriously; I appreciate your contribution to the debate and look forward to hearing from you again.

Best Regards,

Michael Ashbrook

One of SID's Friends Intervenes

Hello Michael,

Here we have one of the real villains of this whole affair revealed. This Director is undoubtedly behind much of this restructuring. There are things which I could tell you about him, but I would not dare to write.

I like your response. He is being disingenuous when he says that there are at present 13 trans-Ardennais units as these are all support services like HR and Training which inevitably have to be in both places so long as the DGT is in both places (another bone of contention, but not our management's fault in this case). The only translating unit located in both places is the web unit, but they have no translators in Lux, only support staff. The proposals will mean that translating units will be split between the two sites which is a totally different matter, and one which has proven to be unworkable in the past when it was tried.

The dialogue with staff of course is all one way. We keep telling hem that his plans are totally wrong and he doesn't listen. A dialogue of the deaf.

(Name withheld and text slightly edited to protect our friend's privacy.)

The Original Message from SID;

" Saving DG Translation from Destructuration

Current plans to restructure DG Translation include two destructive ideas.

The first is the plan to reduce the number of units per language from three to two. This will inevitably entail a split in some units of the DG into a Brussels section and a Luxembourg one as the present staff are not evenly distributed between the two sites. This will serve as excellent ammunition for the Euroskeptics. More importantly it will lead to extra travel expenses at the same time at which the translators are facing a total of 26.5% cuts to their benefits in the name of austerity. Tons of additional CO2 will be released by the transportation of people across the 200 km that separate the two capitals, rather than to the other side of the corridor.

It will also mean that 22 of the present Heads of Unit will no longer have a proper job. Instead they are to be redesignated as "cross-cutting advisers", basically a non-job. Whereas previously they have been translating and revising as well as heading their units, in future they will do some very nebulous task until they get fed up and look for something else. So a plan to save money and concentrate more on translation will actually cost money and reduce the number of translators. There is, of course, no plan to reduce the number of heads of department or directors even though these are both relatively recent creations. At one time the Service de Traduction managed without either of these superfluous levels of management.

The second bad idea is to dissolve the unit that is dedicated to translating www content into the native languages of EU citizens. Incredibly, we are told that nothing at all will change because the transferred colleagues will continue exactly as before, only in their language departments. But it is impossible to change the structure of DGT without also affecting its function, leaving us to wonder about top management's motives. The planned reduction of efficiency can certainly be used as an argument in favour of privatisation. It is unlikely that our compulsive privatizers will miss this platinum opportunity.

In the absence of any democratic rights at work, the ex-www-translators will be bullied into devoting more and more of their time to translating whatever mismanagement declares to be most urgent. The availability of websites in languages other than English and, perhaps, French is bound to decrease. Taking a long view, this development is dangerous for the EU's future because the Euroskeptics recruit the bulk of their voters among the less educated, those Europeans who honestly cannot understand EU texts in any language but their own. By dissolving its www-translation-team, the Commission is forfeiting the political match against its opponents on the lower right. More than half of the citizens will hear and read only the chauvinistic populists' side of the European story because their level of English and French comprehension is not high enough to begin to understand our complex discourses. Future historians may well take the Commissions retreat from a multilingual www-presence as the beginning of the end of the European process.

All of the above actions go completely against the multilinguism priorities<> of Commission where it is stated: "…We must support not just the EU's 23 official languages but Europe's 60 regional and minority languages…"

Those of us who want to preserve and improve DGT need to act resolutely. We are not alone because the Commission's plans run counter to what the majority of MEPs want. The European Parliament's Committees on Budgetary Control, Environment and Culture need to hear the translators' side of the restructuring story ASAP. The easiest way to communicate with the EP is through a formal petition which includes the request to have the three specialist Committees involved in the debate.

We have heard of vague management threats of disciplinary action against colleagues who contact the European Parliament. Not to worry, the right to petition is enshrined in the Treaty, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights<> and in Parliament's Rules<>. Feel free to report such illegal bullying to<>. There is no need to whimper for mercy or to lapse into craven apathy because asking for Parliament's support is the first step towards obtaining it.

A translators' (and their friends') petition may prove as successful as 847(2011) and the classic 192(2009). Start today!

Best Regards,
Michael Ashbrook

Solidarity with those who work for their money
Independence from the others
Democracy in all decisions taken by groups of
sane, adult humans

Phone: 00352 691 31 99 71 "

Created by: admin last modification: Friday 27 of April, 2012 [18:09:40 UTC] by admin

Current events
Powered by Tikiwiki Powered by PHP Powered by Smarty Powered by ADOdb Made with CSS Powered by RDF
RSS Wiki RSS Maps rss Calendars
Powered by Tikiwiki CMS/Groupware | Installed by SimpleScripts