Updated: 3 days ago
Layla El Khadraoui
Carlos Perez Padilla
There has been a lot of discussion since last year about the representatives for the different staff committees. However, not much has been said about those colleagues that on a daily basis are supporting their colleagues at the Delegation level. Now, the elections for the Delegation Staff Representatives (DSR) are going to take place and staff should be paying attention to these local elections as they are of the outmost importance.
It is important to remember that a lot of issues impacting our work and daily life are governed by decisions taken at the level of the Delegation (either under the control of the Head of Section, the Head of Delegation or the Head of Administration) – security, office arrangement, implementation of working conditions, telework, working hours, use of administrative budgets, missions, leave, in some cases housing, or even something as simple as availability of stationary. At the same time, it is at the level of the Delegation that staff representatives can make an impact on issues like teambuilding, addressing harassment and inappropriate behaviour (by providing advice on how to follow the procedures in place), training, security and general functioning of the Delegation.
According to the Guidelines on Duties and Responsibilities of Staff Representatives in the EU Delegation from 30 May 2022 the DSR have a series of key functions when it comes to the defence of staff rights:
DSR are the interface between staff and the European Commission and EEAS (Head of Delegation at the level of Delegation). It is stated that HoD cannot “systematically delegate” responsibilities in the framework of the Social Dialogue. In addition, DSR are a key interface with EEAS Staff Committee and the CLP-HU both to provide information to those as well as to provide information from those to the EU Delegation staff.
DSR have the capacity to start social dialogues with management on key issues affecting the staff and to call staff meetings when deemed necessary in cooperation with management.
DSR are to be present (mandatory) in selection of new Contract Agents if they are not in the system and their presence is recommended for selection of other staff members
DSR are as well to be involved in the annual salary revision and promotion exercise for local agents and selection of service providers for medical services.
In addition, other points in the guidelines suggest the collaboration of the DSR in the implementation or rules and procedures.
In order to exercise these duties, the guidelines include a series of rights for the DSR:
The use of working hours to perform their duties (a specific percentage is however not mentioned in the guidelines)
Not to suffer any action prejudicial to their employment (but no procedure for this is stated in the guidelines)
Finally, the guidelines indicate that DSR should read key documents but do not include any mention on specific training for its functions.
USHU would like to request the following:
A specific percentage of working hours to be indicated for DSR to carry out their work.
Organisation of specific training sessions to perform DSR duties (including key regulation, staff representation structure)
Put in place a specific procedure to address and protect against any potential prejudicial action taken to DSR in the exercise of their functions.
Finally USHU would like to encourage all colleagues to consider becoming DSR to ensure the rights of the staff are protected at Delegation level. Similarly, we also encourage you to reach out to your DSR as your first contact point in case issues arise in your work and life conditions at the Delegation.
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