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CONTRACT AGENTS: « Trop is te veel en te veel is trop* » - 2013, December 11

CONTRACT AGENTS: « Trop is te veel en te veel is trop* »

« Trop is te veel en te veel is trop* »


Working for and in the European Institutions has been for many contract staff a priority or even a personal goal in their professional live … but also a path with more and more obstacles to ultimately obtain the famous and greatly desired permanent contract.
The rather low salary offered to ACs has not really discouraged them. On the contrary, some have said: "Given the crisis, we cannot be choosy!" Leave and travel conditions offered at their recruitment have offset this salary shortfall.
Some of them have even ignored the additional loss of income following their switch from a contract AC3b/ter to a contract AC 3a/bis.
But what is the situation at present?
The Staff Regulation Reform has exacerbated the precarious status of all AC: it has made them more vulnerable, at both professional and family level.
Already suffering from the start from less favourable working conditions, contract agents have got additional constraints imposed on them by the reform and wage freeze. It has become very difficult to find a positive argument for the morale of these agents who have more difficulties to make month ends meet.

From all backgrounds, their calls and testimonies are growing:
• In delegations : changes to Annex X have destabilized the situation of ACs.
• In Luxembourg : the salary of an AC GFI is still below the national minimum wage; the freeze of our salaries will even widen the gap ...
• In the Agencies : unequal treatment when compared to other AC 3a ( e.g. contract duration related to the life of their executive agency , no access to internal competitions ...)
• In the nursery : lack of staff and now extended working hours ...
• and for all: a lack of career prospects , no inter-institutional mobility , incomplete social security ...

The Member States push to employ more contract staff in order to save money.
But at the same time these contract staff must provide an excellent service at international level… Therefore, please stop squeezing them like lemons!


*These are famous words of the former Belgian politician Paul Vanden Boeynants. It is a unique mixture of Dutch and French : "Trop is te veel en te veel is trop" -"too much is too much and too much is too many" meaning that it was over-exaggerated.

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