Salaries and Pensions

The method for adjusting our wages was introduced in the 1970ies after long struggles led by staff members, alongside Union Syndicale, to end the relentless deterioration of our wage conditions.

When the previous Method expired end 2012 the Council tried to scrap the automatic wage indexation system. However, in the end Member States reluctantly had to accept a full automatic system that came into force with the new Staff Regulations on 1 January 2014. This was the only means to avoid recurrent conflicts and multiple appeals.

That decision has turned out to be the only positive outcome of a reform that was overall badly managed, badly negotiated and contrary to the staff’s interests.

The 2014 Method will be in force until 2023. However until the Council and the Parliament adopt the next method, the current one will remain in force as long as necessary. The same percentage of adjustment will apply to pensions, benefits, allowances and wages altogether.

Union Syndicale believes that the staff should not be pay the price of the epic and pointless battles; Council and Commission have been waging against each other in the past. We all know that this resulted in trivial adjustments - 0,1% in 2010, 0,0% in 2011 and 0,8% in 2012, which all led to a significant loss in purchasing power.

Union Syndicale strongly contested the legislator’s decision to not apply the new Method in 2013 and 2014, two years when neither wages nor pensions were adjusted. Union Syndicale has filed an appeal against this decision which continues to increase the loss of our purchasing power.

Our pensions are on the other hand guaranteed by Member States through the budget. Member States commit to paying them even if the European Union ends in dissolution. Such a scheme protects us from a financial disaster that could strike our pension fund. This is the reason why Union Syndicale is concerned about half-baked proposals from other trade unions to set up an actual pension fund. It would imply that Member States need to immediately pay vast amounts of money that they don’t have on hand. It would in turn allow Member States to request that staff members pay a bigger share for their pensions. To us, it looks like a fantasy inspired by the liberal system we live in. That fund would be subjected to highly speculative market fluctuations. Should this happen, the payment of pension benefits to present and future pensioners would not be guaranteed anymore.

Union Syndicale will keep close tabs on this highly sensitive issue. Inter-generational solidarity relies on a steady and sustainable system. If worse comes to worst, Union Syndicale will mobililise all staff members around the issue. It is our social asset that is at stake. We will not let anyone put it at risk !