The 2015 Five-yearly review: diversity in the spotlight


As mentioned in Echo 201, with the Council Decision of last June the CERN 2015 five-yearly review has formally begun. Following the procedure defined in Annex A1 of the Staff Rules and Regulations CERN will thus review its financial and social conditions that should enable it to recruit from all its Member States, and retain, staff of the highest competence and integrity necessary to perform its mission. In addition, these conditions should increase the attractiveness of CERN in all Member States and motivate staff of all ages and all occupations throughout their careers.
Annex A1 stipulates that a five-yearly review must include basic salaries (stipends for Fellows and subsistence allowances for associated members of the personnel) and, optionally, may include any other financial or social conditions. For this optional part of the 2015 exercise, the CERN career structure and measures to improve diversity were chosen.

Towards a better diversity policy

The analysis of the 2013 Staff Association survey has shown a lot of support for diversity-related issues (see Figure. Of course we do not forget “career evolution” and “motivation at work”, which are part of the other optional subject of this five-yearly review the "CERN career structure." We will return to this later).

Figure : Dossiers classés par priorité / Subjects ordered by priority

In our public meetings of February 2014, we presented to you the main points. Your reactions during these meetings and feedback received from discussions with your Staff Council delegates were also very useful. The Staff Council has used all this input while formulating its proposals, which will be presented in more detail in the next issues of Echo and in our upcoming public meetings at the beginning of October.
The Staff Association aims to reach a maximum of staff with its measures, regardless of age, profession, hierarchical level, from new recruits to staff at the end of their career. To achieve its goals, the challenge is to propose a balanced set of measures where each staff member can find some elements of satisfaction and motivation.

Based on the analysis of the survey and the subsequent feedback, we have structured our approach along three main axes:
- Family Policy:
- Integration of families, especially those with young children
- Improved family-related leave schemes
- Work-life balance
- Increased flexibility in the organization of one’s working time
- Increased flexibility for taking leave for an improved work-life balance
- Recognition of experience
- flexibility to the end of the career

In addition, the Staff Association supports Management in its efforts to recognize partnerships registered in a Member State or an Associated Member State in the same way as marriage.

Your support is vital

For the last 18 months, during LS1 (Long Shut-Down 1), staff have once again saved neither time nor effort to ensure that accelerators and experiments perform even better, so that they will soon deliver new exceptional results and so that CERN continues to be a centre of excellence and the world reference in the field of particle physics.
A five-yearly review is an opportunity to compare the financial and social conditions of staff with those of similar organizations and ask for an alignment of our conditions, if it is found that CERN has fallen behind in some areas.
We are well aware that this five-yearly review starts with the backdrop of an economic crisis. In reference to their national economic situation some Member States want CERN also to make savings. Therefore, this five-yearly review is taking place at a dangerous time. Indeed, taking into account the austerity policies in place in several countries we do not expect that the demands resulting from the 2015 five-yearly review coming from the staff representatives and coming from the Member States will necessarily be in phase.
However, we want to emphasize that a five-yearly review, beyond the numbers, is also a moment where the Member States can reveal their trust and recognition towards CERN staff. The Organization, through a modern and innovative staff policy must be able to ensure its excellence in the long term by attracting, retaining, and motivating throughout their careers the best specialists from all over Europe.

We are convinced that the comparison of basic salaries and social conditions will show that the differences in our disfavour observed in previous reviews, have not diminished, quite the contrary. Thus, to help us defend our interests during this five-yearly review we must be able to count on the active support of each and every one of you.

by Staff Association