Develop social and well-being infrastructures
All business administration schools teach that the well-being of staff is a vital component of efficiency and sound management. So why does the Commission ignore these principles?... while the fact that most colleagues are expatriates makes this a crying need. Moreover, increased stress caused by the 2014 reform needs to be compensated by easier access to social activities, such as recreational, sports or cultural clubs.
European Schools and child care facilities
Despite the warnings of FFPE before the enlargement of the Union, a severe lack of places in kindergartens and schools has manifested itself and is ever more apparent. The FFPE will continue to request the opening of new European Schools in locations which better suit colleagues.
The intergovernmental European Schools council system has broken down! The FFPE calls for the complete overhaul of the European Schools system to ensure better governance and better education.
An efficient Sickness Insurance Scheme
Despite efforts towards simplification, inconsistent bureaucratic procedures continue to grow; FFPE asks the administration to facilitate the lives of our colleagues rather than prevent them from working effectively in the interests of the institution. We must reduce bureaucracy wherever possible. The PMO is building up a reputation for growing complaints about unpaid benefits, intolerable delays and incongruous requests for additional information when returning reimbursement claim forms.
The FFPE calls for the re-establishment of a properly functioning service and (for many years) a Commission staff social security card which is recognised everywhere and which is compatible with National Social Security cards.
Improved assistance services to staff
Services in support of staff in medical, psychological, legal, and IT matters ... are they sufficient? Many would reply ‘no’ to this question.
It is too easy to specify an e-mail address or a telephone number where the person answering is never the same and does not know the personal file of the colleague calling. They then give up and their situation only worsens, or their work time is devoured by the associated problems.
The FFPE believes that the Administration should improve these support services to colleagues.
Abandon further outsourcing of staff and services
Services such as safety, security, canteens, drivers, IT management and kindergartens continue to be privatised. This results in a deterioration in the quality and care given as these tasks are no longer "profitable" for the companies.
Indeed, for the Commission such services are now viewed as just a short-term financial irritation. Conversely, similar services are being re-internalised by the European Parliament and in certain public functions of the Member States... as a result of their integrated and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis!
FFPE calls on the College to conduct an equivalent analysis and review its current outsourcing policy.
Equal opportunities at all levels and in all domains
General stress particularly affects women who have family responsibilities; it is found that they suffer discrimination during the promotion exercises and, moreover, they are less attracted than their male colleagues by managerial positions.
The age of retirement has been extended by successive reforms. Staff at the end of their careers is not well appreciated in the Commission: many such colleagues are under-valued; even though they are the memory of the institution and have a valuable experience that the Commission should make the most of instead of using external resources. Specific training and suitable work ought to be offered to these staff.
Despite the good will displayed by the administration, it is still difficult for the disabled to have access to our work and our environment.
If a colleague goes through a temporary crisis causing a drop in efficiency, they are stigmatised forever in their service and they are offered no second chance.
In the same vein, staff returning from long-term leave or delegations is not afforded adequate support and attention.
ALL our colleagues are entitled to respect and dignity in their working life, just as in their personal and family life. FFPE puts the human side at the centre in the organisation of work and job design.