Dear Colleagues,

It was with satisfaction that the Staff Association learnt the results of the staff poll it organized from 12th to 19th November. Following a sustained information campaign over the past few weeks, we have all had the opportunity to say what we feel about the proposals that the Management will present to the Member States, for decision mid-December. Need we remind you that these proposals concern salaries, health insurance and pensions?

We do not think so, and certainly not the 1435 colleagues who exercised their right to vote, i.e. 63% of all registered electors. A pleasing participation, and the results can only but encourage us to forge ahead. Yes, we have had to make certain choices for each of these subjects, which have not always been easy, especially for salaries. But your votes show that a large majority of you trust us to ensure that the end result is as satisfactory as possible. Thank you, it is just what we needed.

Do you approuve the position of the Staff Association ?

Full results : http://association.web.cern.ch/association/Resultats_vote.html

This massive support is, in fact, essential as we embark on the home straight. Because until Council gives its decision on 17th December, nothing is sure. By analogy with a very special slalom, we have skied past the most technical gates at the top of the course, but now remains the final schuss, with its treacherous bumps and ice. So, watch out for sideslipping.

After the TREF meeting on 25th November, the last one before the December meetings, we are still on course. On that day the Management presented its written proposals. We are pleased to see that things have progressed. Everything is ready for the two mainstays of our social security system to get back on track, thanks to the efforts of the Organization, active and retired staff. And a salary catch-up, as minimal as it may be, is foreseen for some, a first in fifteen years. In these troubled times, what more can we hope for?

That the thorn be removed from the flesh of the staff. Indeed, we know that, despite a consensual outcome of the Five-Yearly Review, more than half of us will suffer a cut in net salary in January, and that hurts. And it should not be ignored, since what appears to be a minor wound could get infected.

After consultation, the mandate you gave us is clear: The Staff Association will once more talk to the Director-General about this subject. We sincerely hope that a fruitful dialogue will be possible, to restore peace to the Organization. This unrest is a normal consequence of an unequal distribution, leading to protest and a wish for solidarity. What else would you expect?

The coming days will be crucial for all these subjects. A last-minute surprise is always possible, even if our discussions with the Member States are at an advanced stage and a spirit of consensus reigns. This does not mean that we will not hesitate to call on you if need be. The stakes for our future and that of the Organization are such that we need to defend them. But we are not yet at that point. Fortunately, the contrary is true.

Thank you for your support and see you soon with the latest news. Stay tuned in to your delegates. 

by Staff Association