The rally of staff on 8 November at the esplanade of the Berlaymont, that was called by us jointly with FFPE, U4U, CON-SFE, SE and RS / USHU-U4U and brought together a thousand people, shows that:
¾ colleagues are aware of the situation and concerned by the very serious threats faced by the European civil service;
¾ they believe that it was premature to go on strike at this stage and also want to have other ways to show their discontent.
Indeed, the strike on 8 November can be qualified as a failure, in terms both of the rate of participation of the Commission staff and the negative press reactions towards our civil service. We are waiting for official statistics to be provided by DG HR, but we can already announce that only 5 to 7 % of the staff is deemed to have participated in the strike.
It was nice to see the presence at our rally (held on the same day of the strike) of leaders of the US-PLUS-GEN 2004 alliance, who had called the staff to strike and “to stay at home.” However, their attitude to pounce on the journalists to announce a supposedly fantastic result of the strike, which led the latter to formally ask our institution for the official figures of the strike, is a sign of political immaturity. Nobody can rejoice in the failure of the strike and no one should have an interest in making this failure more visible. It was nevertheless very significant that all speeches of those responsible at the rally have been constructive.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the real issue of the strike was the electoral support to U.S. for the Council elections.
Anyway, it is clear that the staff did not share the message on which the strike call was based , as strikers expressed their support for the Commission and the European Parliament in the framework of the negotiations for the MFF and the reform of the Staff Regulations while all the highest authorities of both institutions confirmed that the strike would have weakened them due to its negative impact, especially in the press.
In this regard, please find attached the minutes of the GA in the EP on 7 November, in which Ms. Roth-Behrendt, EP rapporteur on the Reform issue and the Head of the President Schultz’s private office both took part.
Without dwelling on these divisions, R & D must keep its sense of responsibility and focus on the tight deadlines ahead.
On 14 November, President Van Rompuy will meet the Council unions. On 15 November, the General Assembly of the Council will confirm whether or not there will be strike in this institution on 16 November. The same day, the results of the election for the staff representation in the Council will be known, which will also have an impact on the situation.
In line with progress in the negotiations, it is possible that a day of action will be held on Wednesday 21st November, the eve of the European Council which is to decide on the multi-annual financial framework. Figures are expected from the Cypriot Presidency.
As we have done since the beginning of the negotiations on the Reform, we will continue to work for unity of action in the representation of staff in all institutions, starting with the steps that could be implemented by 21 November (not excluding alternative or complementary measures to strikes, such as gatherings, work to rule, temporary stoppages of work, solidarity fund, etc.), so that all staff can show unity the way they want to.
To this end, R & D will launch a survey amongst its members to find out which ways they consider the most appropriate.