Public meetings on 16 and 19 October 2018: thank you for your participation!

The CERN Staff Association warmly thanks all those who came to the public meetings on 16 and 19 October 2018.

The slides presented (in English) and the video recordings of the meetings (in French and English) are available online.

During these meetings, Ghislain Roy, President of the CERN Staff Association (SA), presented the news of the SA since the last public meetings in October 2017. At that time, we had launched a call for candidates for elections to the Staff Council. Ghislain stressed that this call had been heard: the elections were a success, with 51 candidates for 50 positions, 5 elected representatives for fellows and associates and a partial renewal of the Staff Council that brought in new delegates full of ideas and enthusiasm. Ghislain concluded by saying that the Staff Council is solid and demonstrates maturity and diligence in its work.

Other news included progress on the "Jardin des Particules", the new name of the Crèche and School of the CERN Staff Association, and the future takeover of the operation by a Foundation under Swiss law. This was made possible by the financial support of CERN management, which was convinced that the operating costs of our structure are under control and in line with the market. Our efforts have borne fruit and we can thank CERN's management for following us in this endeavour and looking to the future with us towards a Foundation.

Finally, the last element of news to note is the evolution of the implementation of the last five-year review, with an update on the ongoing consultation with CERN management on the use of the Equity Budget, which is an integral part of the career management process, but also the themes of internal mobility, validation of acquired experience and career development interviews, for which a pilot was conducted in 2018 in a department at CERN.

The President then presented the Staff Association's analysis of the MERIT 2018 exercise. This year the guidelines did not provide a quota for the distribution of performance between "insufficient," "fair", "strong" and "outstanding"; the budget was a sufficient constraint to obtain a reasonable and "natural" distribution for advancement. However, some biases have been reported again this year. For example, the performance of CERN employees seems to be judged inversely proportional to the number of years of service in the organization; is it really the case that our performance only decreases over time, or is this an assumption that career development at CERN must slow down over time? It's up to the management to answer! Another bias is that part-time people are rated lower than full-time people, an observation that was already made last year. Is this really the case, or should it be seen in the fact that CERN expects the same work from a person at 80 % and a person at 100% working time, even if the former is paid 20% less?

Ghislain also pointed out that, for several years now, the number of fellows, students and project associates has increased sharply, while the number of staff ("titulaires") has remained fairly stable. The number of positions of staff employed in precarious positions (LD contract holders and fellows) is now approaching the number of long-term employees, the IC contract holders. This will undoubtedly raise several problems in the future, in particular on the quality of the supervision we can offer to these people on limited contracts, but also on the fact that some of the fellows are working on activities that should be done by long-term staff of the Organization.

In conclusion, Ghislain stressed that CERN's infrastructure, including buildings, hotels and restaurants, is in great need of investment, not only for upgrading but also for expansion in order to properly accommodate the growing number of users. Some buildings are in really bad shape! Parking spaces that are badly distributed on site is a subject that affects most of us and must be addressed in order to rethink Mobility at CERN.

So, if you have come to our public meetings, once again thank you very much for your attentive presence, your questions and your thoughts, in meetings but also afterwards.

If you have had a serious impediment, you are all excused and don't worry: the public meetings have been recorded and you can watch them at your own pace.

And then, if you still have questions, topics you want to bring to our attention, you can find your delegates on the Staff Association website. Contact them! They're waiting for you!

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by Staff Association