The Council’s refusal to approve the adjustment of remuneration and pensions is worrying not only because it violates a right of the staff enshrined in the Staff Regulations, but also because it highlights the fact that political ‘appropriateness’ increasingly prevails over the rule of law.
By a formal Decision, the Council refused to adopt the Commission’s proposal to adjust remuneration and pension in accordance with the Method. The Commission has decided to bring an action against the Council in the Court of Justice for not adopting the annual adjustment to remuneration and pensions of EU staff, thus breaching the Staff Regulations.
Inflation in Luxembourg triggered a 2.5% salaries’ increase. Indexation of salaries is safeguarded only thanks to the strong position of Luxembourg’s trade unions. For EU contract staff, this means that not only Function Group I, grade 1, but also FG II, grade 4, are falling below the minimum legal salary for a skilled worker in Luxembourg (read the attachment). If the draft proposal for Revising of the Staff Regulations were to be adopted, secretaries / clerks as a whole would no longer be recruited as officials, but as FG II contract staff.
The Staff Regulations and the CEOS lay down an obligation to recruit staff « on the broadest possible geographical basis from among nationals of Member States of the Communities ». Statistics provided by the Commission reveal a significant imbalance.
The Commission is currently examining a series of requests from the Council, but also from the European Parliament, with a view to present its proposed amendments to the Staff Regulations. Those proposals should be adopted by the College of Commissioners on 29 June 2011, following which they will be subject to consultation with the trade unions.