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Rec 2008 - 2008, April 24

Rec 2008

Lengthy negotiations have taken place between the Administration and the Unions concerning the proposed changes to the appraisal/promotion system. You will have received a lot of information from DG ADMIN extolling the virtues of the Administration proposal. They claim that the new system will enable most officials (they say 70-85% depending on grade) to enjoy career progression in line with or better than the rates set out in Annexe IB of the Staff Regulations (promotions in 3, 4, 5 years depending on grade). We have serious doubts about this and think that it is time to point out what we see as the dangers of their proposal.

A REMINDER OF THE DG ADMIN PROPOSAL

Some parts of the old CDR/promotion system are retained (dialogue, objective setting, training map, promotion based on the accumulation of points), but the proposed new system is a departure from the current CDR in several important ways. There will be no more merit points based on the appraisal: staff will be placed in one of five performance groups (IA, IB, II, III, IV) at the appraisal stage. A maximum of 8% of staff in each function group (AD/AST) may be placed in group IA and a maximum of 22% in group IB. These percentages also apply by grade if there are more than 14 officials in a grade in a DG or service. There are no maximum or minimum limits on placement in groups II, III, IV.

Staff will then be awarded promotion points based on their performance group. A spread of three promotion points is available for each group: IA = 10 to 12, IB = 7 to 9, II = 4 to 6, III = 1 to 3; IV = 0. Final placement of staff in performance groups and the number of promotion points awarded are confirmed after wide consultations within the DG or service. Staff are informed at the same time of their performance group and the number of promotion points awarded and may launch an appeal to a Joint Promotion and Appraisal Committee against their appraisal (performance groups) or the promotion points awarded or both. Appeals are heard at the end of the procedure. There are no more extra points for work done in the interests of the service - PPII.

WHY IS THE PROPOSED NEW SYSTEM UNACCEPTABLE?

There are two problems, but they are major problems!:

• The predictions made by DG ADMIN as to future career progression are based on a number of assumptions about the way the system will be used by DGs and services (no staff placed in the lower performance groups III and IV, award of promotion points based 80% on merit and 20% on distance from promotion threshold, regular movement of staff between performance groups) which are impossible to control or guarantee. If the system is not used as assumed by DG ADMIN, the end result in terms of career progression will be much worse for staff than the rosy predictions made by DG ADMIN and more likely than not worse than the current CDR system.

• Appeal possibilities are greatly reduced, with less real chance of making a successful appeal against an appraisal.

It is for these reasons that we are not prepared to take the risk of accepting the proposal. We cannot agree to a new system for which there are no real guarantees that the results will be better for the staff than the existing system and the results of which depend entirely on the behaviour of DGs and services which are impossible to predict and control.

CONF- SFE CANNOT ACCEPT THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL TO CHANGE OUR APPRAISAL & PROMOTION SYSTYEM AND IS NOT PREPARED TO ACCEPT GUARANTEES AND PROMISES WHICH ARE AT BEST UNCERTAIN AND AT WORSE ALMOST WORTHLESS!

WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO NEGOTIATE BUT UP TO NOW THERE HAS ONLY BEEN DISCUSSION, NO REAL NEGOTIATION. WE INTEND TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR COLLEAGUES IN ALL THE OTHER UNIONS TO BRING ABOUT THE NECESSARY CHANGES TO THIS UNACCEPTABLE PROPOSAL!

The Executive Committee

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