Concertation or Consultation. That is the question.

In April 2017 (as reported in Echo No. 268), the Staff Association, when invited to an Enlarged Directorate meeting, stressed that “concertation requires a positive attitude and mutual trust. […] The Staff Association is firmly committed in this respect but does not consider that the concertation process is as effective as we should like”.

The continued lack, for the Staff Association, of an effective concertation process led to a revisiting of the situation in June 2017 (Echo No. 271), in an article that stressed the importance of the concertation process at CERN since it was introduced in 1983, the year in which the Standing Concertation Committee (SCC) replaced the Standing Consultation Committee.

The importance of concertation was also highlighted by Mr Bernard Dormy, Chair of TREF, in an interview he gave to the Staff Association at the end of January 2018 (Echo No. 284), when he retired from his position as the Chair of the Forum. “To sum it up, I would certainly describe concertation as the search for a common position between the Staff Association, the CERN Management, and the Member States, all of whom are loyally informed beforehand of the various aspects of each issue and given the opportunity to confront their positions with those of other parties.”

At the beginning of 2018, in Echo No. 283, we commented yet again that Management and the Staff Association seem to differ in our understanding of what concertation is and how it is to be applied at CERN, as well as the difficulties that arise from these differences in understanding when managing the various topics we need to address.

The continued lack of a common understanding of the concertation process led the Staff Council to adopt a resolution on concertation at its meeting on 20 March.

Discussions with the Management continue, and the Staff Association remains firmly committed to restoring and strengthening the concertation process at CERN.

We will keep you informed of the progress in these discussions.

by Staff Association