The Staff Council, ready for the challenges of 2015

In order to fulfil its mission of representing CERN staff with the Management and the Member States in an optimal way, the Staff Council relies on the work of a number of commissions, amongst them employment conditions, pensions, legal matters, social security, health and safety and InFormAction (training, information and action).

All of these commissions have as a goal to try and improve the employment conditions of CERN members of personnel. This is the case in particular in the context of the five-yearly review process, ending in December 2015 (5YR 2015). Let us recall that the objective of a five-yearly review is to ensure that the financial and social conditions offered by the Organisation favour recruitment from all Member States, and to retain and motivate staff necessary for the fulfilment of its mission.

The convenor of each Commission reports regularly to the Staff Council and Executive Committee on the work performed in their group. The commissions are open to all members of the Staff Association; it is not necessary to be a staff delegate to participate. Commissions, similar to think tanks, can be a source of proposals, or they can be involved in our social activities.

The Employment Conditions Commission assumes the largest part of the preparation for the 5YR 2015. Its work is based on the analysis of our 2013 staff survey. This analysis has allowed us to prioritise the different themes under review. After concertation with Management, two non-obligatory themes were chosen for the 5YR 2015: diversity, which includes family measures, and the CERN career structure. In 2014, the commission had in-depth discussions on motivation as an important aspect for career management. The problems with the current contract policy also gave rise to many discussions, in particular when studying in detail the changes proposed by Management. Obviously, in 2015, the main activities of this commission will focus on the concertation process for the 5YR 2015.

The Social Security Commission follows and reflects on themes associated with the management of CERN’s health insurance scheme (CHIS). In 2014, the commission monitored the implementation measures of the new governance of the CHIS. In addition, the statistics concerning the number of members of the scheme, the membership fees received, and the evolution of the costs of the benefits were scrutinized. This will allow us, when needed, to propose proactive actions to the Management to guarantee the financial health of the CHIS.

The Pensions Commission participated in several analyses of the actuarial studies that were requested by the Member States. It also followed closely the work by the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB). Two major crises demanded that those responsible for the commission had to take a position. A first crisis in April gave rise to a public meeting denouncing the intention of certain delegations to put into question the balanced package of measures for the Pension Fund, decided in December 2010 by the CERN Council, which had the aim of restoring the financial balance of the Fund by 2041. Then, a second demonstration was organised on June 19, where a large number of active and retired Cernois assembled in the carpark in front of the Council Chamber. A resolution was signed by a large number of Staff to remind Council of its 2010 commitment for the Organisation to pay 60 million Swiss francs per year for 30 years or until full funding is reached, as well as to respect the powers of the various governance bodies and the rights of all stakeholders.

The In-Form-Action Commission took on numerous challenges by contributing to major events. These included our public meetings and the demonstrations organised following the attacks by certain delegations on our pensions. The commission has also worked hard to improve communication with our members. For example: creation of a Facebook site, creation of a new information leaflet and negotiations to establish partnership agreements giving our members many commercial advantages, such as attractive conditions in stores, or with banks, e.g., the BCGE.

The Legal Matters Commission mainly studies changes in official documents, the Staff Rules and Regulations, administrative (AC) and operational circulars (OC), the statutes of the Staff Association, etc. In 2014, the Commission worked on OC2 (Conditions of access to the fenced parts of the CERN site), AC11 (Categories of members of the personnel), AC13 (Guarantees for representatives of the personnel), and AC26 (Recognition of merit). Concerning CA13, we should like to highlight its importance for the formal recognition of the work done by Staff Association representatives.

The Health and Safety Commission monitors the activities of the official bodies, where the Association is represented, in these areas. As its name indicates, the Individual Cases Commission ( helps members of the Association, or more generally all members of staff, in their disputes with the Organization.

Let us not forget the Secretariat of the Staff Association which handles all administrative and organizational tasks, an activity essential for the work of the staff delegates. It also acts as a convenient every-day contact point for CERN people.

The Staff Association exists thanks to the voluntary participation of CERN Staff to pool efforts to defend, collectively as well as individually, their material and moral interests. Also, in its capacity as a proposal-making body the Staff Association is all the more respected as a responsible social partner when it is supported by a large number of CERN staff.

The Staff Association counts on your support as from January 2015 to face future challenges!

by Staff Association