Breakdown of powers and responsibilities between
STAFF COMMITTEE: WHY? FOR WHOM? HOW?
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In European institutions and bodies, as in national establishments, officials, other staff and those in retirement have set up trade unions in order better to defend their collective interest.
- The specific nature of the Staff Regulations which applies to them has prompted them to form unions geared to counterbalance their employer, namely the European Community.
- Union Syndicale (US) – a European civil service union with a presence in all the institutions, bodies and other European or international organisations – is in solidarity and collaborates with national unions; in Luxembourg, that means, in particular, with OGB-L.
- The most important decisions which affect us, those determining our Staff Regulations, that is to say our conditions of employment, pay and pensions, are taken by the Council of the Union. Ultimately, our employer are the Member States.
- However, in that legislative process, the European Commission plays an important institutional role: it holds the right of initiative.
- Trade unions and staff associations (in Community jargon: OSPs) are recognised as interlocutors of the institutions with regard to amendments to the Staff Regulations and conditions of employment in general.
- Negotiating without being capable of mobilising staff is indulging in theory. Mobilising staff without being capable of negotiating is agitation. Union Syndicale can both negotiate and mobilise. It is the combination of the two which makes it effective.
- In order to implement the Staff Regulations, each institution adopts general implementing provisions. Here again, your representatives must be capable of negotiating to defend balanced and consistent positions.
- Moreover, each one of us, in the institution or body in which we work, is subject to line management and authorities which take decisions affecting us individually.
- Union Syndicale keeps you informed, advises you and provides you with legal defence, involving the services of a lawyer.
- Be it collectively or individually, the US is able to protect you in a responsible and consistent manner, as it has shown on many occasions.
- However, its effectiveness depends also on its ‘representativeness’, which you can help by joining it.
- In each institution or body, there is a Staff Committee and a number of joint committees. Together they constitute statutory staff representation.
- By virtue of the Staff Regulations, you are represented as of right by this set of bodies. However, the Staff Committee is neither of the same nature nor plays the same role as trade unions.
- It is, of course, in your interest that your Staff Committee should function in the best way possible, in harmony – rather than in conflict – with the union representatives of your choice.
- A strong US also means a strong Staff Committee which commands respect in your institution.
- US is an association which was freely set up by its founders. It continues to rely on the free will of its members who decide to join it and who commit themselves to ensuring that it works.
- It functions on democratic principles. Its members elect the union bodies which are committed to its day-to-day running:
LUXEMBOURG - EUROPEAN CIVIL SERVICE
General Meeting, set the broad lines of Union action
- Auditing Commission (3 Members)
- Executive Committee (15 Members)
- Court of Justice
- Court of Auditors
- Translation Cntr
- the Members of all Delegations jointly = Union Council
- Union Syndicale is proud of its independence, which results from relying on its own resources, i.e. the membership fees paid by its members. Furthermore, by relying on its ‘representativeness’, it may obtain from the institutions additional means.
- In order to ensure that their action is consistent, the various union bodies – at the institution’s or body’s level, at the level of the place of employment or above that (at the federal level) – must coordinate between themselves.
- At the highest level, that coordination is taken care of by Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF):
- We invite you to join us in Union Syndicale. Its effectiveness also depends on your participation.