Help us to demolish the institutional barriers and find a fair career path for Contract Agents

Updated: Jun 10, 2021

Article written by Helen Conefrey


DG HR is in the final stages of a new HR strategy. CAs from both EU DEL and HQ have been actively engaging in working groups to ensure that CAs will not be overlooked again. Some of you will remember previous attempts to introduce reforms which provided no appreciable results for CAs but this time, it genuinely feels different.


Rather than turning a blind eye and continuing to ignore the issue, DG HR is now listening to staff and openly recognising that high-performing CAs deserve more career opportunities.


After consultation with a wide range of CAs, USHU is joining forces with other Trade Unions to collectively lobby for real improvements for CAs.





1. New Special Senior Expert Program (SSEP): the eligibility criteria and the nuts and bolts of how to implement this need to be fully discussed but USHU’s proposal is to organise an annual internal selection procedure providing access to TA/AD posts. This could complement or even replace expensive external specialist programmes and fully harness the substantial internal CA talent that exists within the institution. Highly qualified CAs with proven skills and enviable expertise together with sound institutional knowledge must be provided with a pathway to permanent posts.


2. Better organised Internal Competitions accessible to CAs: USHU is insisting that the Talent Screener be assessed at an earlier stage to avoid highly qualified CAs with strong professional records being eliminated unnecessarily by verbal (V), numerical (N) and abstract reasoning (A) computer based tests (CBT). A change in the preselection procedure is necessary to ensure equal treatment and to accounting fully for qualifications and expertise.


3. Certification procedure for CAs: USHU believes DG HR must find a way to allow and encourage CAs with strong and proven performance to access a certification process to be reclassified as AST/AD. This is a win-win scenario and both rewards performance and motivates staff.


USHU requests the COMMISSION to urgently introduce specific measures aimed at CAs who have performed well in the service for several years. We must prevent CAs from reaching a dead end with no chance to serve the EU better due to exclusionary HR policies which clearly have no place in the modern, inclusive and diverse workplace to which we all aspire.



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