Dear Vice President,
First of all R&D, the leading trade union at the Commission would like to welcome you as a new Vice President responsible for Human Resources portfolio.
R&D has repeatedly drawn your predecessors’ and your services’ attention to the massive failure of the evaluation and promotion procedure ‘CDR’ in our Institution, while other EU institutions operating under exactly the same Staff Regulations as the Commission well to evaluate and promote their staff perfectly well with light and easy-to-understand procedures. The Staff’s motivation is now very low in the Commission.
Our Institution has functioned for over 40 years with ‘rapid careers’ (above average promotion rates) for 10-15 percent of the staff. Suddenly, as of 2009, colleagues were told in a spin campaign
directed by DG ADMIN that 30 percent of staff – and around 80 percent of Cabinet staff – needed to be put on artificially ‘High Flyer’ career paths, thus and structurally disadvantaging all other performant colleagues whose careers had now to be slowed accordingly to meet the budgetary constraints of the Commission.
The annual evaluation exercise has been emptied of meaning, creating discontent among our highly qualified and motivated staff.
Vice-President, we appeal to your readiness to correct past failure, and count on your services to be proactive on this highly sensitive issue.
The new Commission needs highly motivated staff to deal with the challenges ahead, ranging from a new External Action Service through to proposals for mastering the consequences of the current financial and economic crisis. The last thing our staff needs in this context is a distrusted evaluation and promotion procedure regarded as unfair and riddled with red tape.
This problematic CDR was introduced in 2003 by Vice-President Kinnock. R&D has consistently demanded its abolition and replacement by an honest, transparent and light procedure.
In the context of the 2008 concertations with trade unions to review the 2009 CDR, R&D together with all the other trade unions refused the proposals for a ‘new CDR’ as it was called by DG ADMIN. R&D itself advocated an evaluation/promotion system similar to the European Parliament’s one.
The administration nevertheless insisted on implementing its own new CDR last year.
As a result, the 2009 CDR exercise turned out to be an even greater nightmare for colleagues, both management and staff, as well as for DG HR and the entire administration. No less than 4000 individual appeals were formally introduced. This constitutes a sad record in the history of our Institution and means that nearly 20% of officials were very disappointed either with their evaluation report or with their career progress in relation to their real merit. Roughly 20% of these 4000 appeals were followed by positive assessments by the Joint Evaluation and Promotion Committees, showing the dedication of staff representatives as well as demonstrating the well founded reason
for these appeals and the absurdity of the CDR procedure as it is. This failure creates months of extra work for hundreds of colleagues.
This CDR is supposed to evaluate and promote merit, but it artificially manipulates evaluations and adapts promotions to various pre-determined positions adopted by the different Commission services which apply widely diverging strategies. This calls into question the authority of DG HR which should guarantee good administrative and HR practice.
Last September R&D asked for a concertation on the subject of an entirely new CDR. DG HR waited until the very last moment refusing to start the concertation for the 2010 exercise on the grounds that the CDR 2010 had already officially been launched in January.
Surprisingly, DG HR proposed only to change the appeals procedures this year launching in February an inter-service consultation. This proposal considerably limits the staffs rights to appeal reducing it to a pure rubber operation. The Staff’s right to appeal are seriously in danger, should these provisions enter into force. You will understand that this is totally unacceptable.
R&D therefore calls upon you to act swiftly in order to restore good administrative practices in our institution taking in account that:
- Staff must not be continually tormented with ever-changing rules, particularly during an exercise in progress;
- Staff has the right to an efficient appeal procedure and this should be communicated beforethe exercise starts;
- The Social Dialogue must be respected as set out in the Staff Regulations.
R&D trusts that as a new Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission you will appreciate the importance of the issue. R&D therefore asks you to react quickly, so colleagues are given a chance to be evaluated and promoted in a fair and transparent manner in the near future.
To that end, and with a view to the 2011 CDR, staff representatives must be invited to negotiate new rules in the framework of a proper Social Dialogue, based on the following:
• Acknowledging the basic faults of the present system, and not attempting to patch it up;
• Taking into account best practice at other EU institutions operating under the same Staff Regulations, such as the European Parliament;
• Safeguarding the staff’s rights to appeal and the Joint Evaluation and Promotion Committees powers to play their full role, by ensuring equal treatment across the institution and its different services;
• Ensuring an average promotion career for the majority of our colleagues;
• Creating fast tracks careers with all vital guarantees of transparency to allow AD colleagues recruited as AD5 to become managers (and avoiding parachutage into top management posts from outside sources).
R&D invites you to request that DG HR proceed directly to negotiating a fair and simple evaluation and promotion system for 2011.
R&D proposes to maintain the existing rules for the appeals procedures in 2010, and to abandon the Inter Service Consultation for the General Implementing Provisions for Articles 43 and 45 of the Staff Regulation.
We look forward to working with you.
Copies : Mme Souka, M. Linden, M. Jansen, M. Magnier, M. Dotto