Local Agent Salary Method: When will there be an adjustment commensurate with local inflation?

The current Salary Method came into force in 2014 after lengthy negotiations in which USHU took the lead to defend the previous working conditions as much as possible and to obtain improvements for Local Agents in the future. The main objective for the EEAS was to ensure the alignment of Local Agent salaries to that of the “markers” – other Member State Embassies and International Organisations.

Unfortunately, since the application of this new method, the salaries of many Local Agents in several EU Delegations have had no appreciable increase over the past seven years! Many Local Agents complain that their salaries are no longer as competitive as they were in the past and that for this reason there is a higher turnover of staff as Local Agents find better offers in the domestic market.

There are even Delegations where due to the new salary method, the salaries of LAs have effectively been frozen since 2014 with little/no increase whatsoever.

The EEAS Decision of 27/05/2021: ADMIN(2020)21 relating to the “Remuneration for Local Staff” and pertaining to the Decision C(2019)5686 on LA Conditions of Employment - empowered the EEAS to continue with the application of the current method with the possibility to review it no later than 31 May 2021 however no review has been initiated.

It seems the EEAS is quite happy with the results of either a zero or minimal increase in salaries of Local Agents in several EU Delegations over the past years. Local Agents from a wide range of Delegations have actively brought up this issue with USHU during its interaction with them over the past months.

Additionally the current annual salary revision exercise relies on an unrealistic use of markers where data from earlier years is often applied to current years leading to distorted results. USHU advocates for a simplified method that combines both actual salaries and inflation trends.

USHU requests the EEAS to review the current method for salary adjustments as soon as possible. Based on direct feedback from Local Agents to USHU, the following should be considered:

  • Any review of the method must include a direct link with national inflation during the annual salary review. The current system assumes that the markers/comparators have fully considered inflation when establishing their salary grids however, the reality on the ground is quite different and often Local Agents are subject to sharp inflation, which erodes their purchasing power, and this factor is inadequately addressed in the current method.

  • Given that the UK embassy is no longer a member of the European Union, there is an urgent need to extend the range of possible markers to the basket of comparators to ensure sufficient choice.

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