The Commission services have declared in internal and public communications that social dialogue is ongoing with the AIIC Negotiating Delegation. This is inaccurate: at the third and last discussion to date on May 26th, the interpreting services of the European Commission and the European Parliament made their first and final offer. The offer, called a ‘mitigating measure’, consisted of a package of deferred contracts, i.e. the payment for the contract would be made now, and the corresponding services would be redeemed before the end of the year. According to the interpreting services, the offer was non-negotiable and would be presented directly to colleagues.
Indeed, within an hour of this meeting, an information note that had not been provided to the AIIC Negotiating Delegation during the meetingwas published on the Intranet sites of the interpreting services of the European Parliament and the European Commission. This fait accompli approach can hardly be called ‘social dialogue’. In any case, it put an abrupt and very public end to the talks.
Colleagues immediately started reacting to the note. More than 400 posts from ACIs as well as many staff members on the Commission‘s Intranet leave no doubt as to the massive rejection of an offer that is considered demeaning.
After having examined the offer, the AIIC Negotiating Delegation sent a letter on May 31st asking for its withdrawal. The so-called ‘mitigating measure’ is not only considered completely inadequate, but it is also contrary to the collective agreement signed between AIIC and the European Institutions, and in breach of ECJ case-law. In view of the reaction amongst colleagues, the Commission invited the AIIC Negotiating Delegation to another meeting with barely 48 hours notice, giving no answer to the request on May 31st and with no guarantees that said meeting would result in a formal consultation as required for similar cases, as per the collective agreement signed between the Institutions and AIIC.
The AIIC Negotiating Delegation has made it clear in all its official communication with the different services that for genuine social dialogue to take place, assurances must be given that new talks will be carried out according to proper procedure and in good faith so that trust can be restored. For this to happen, the ‘mitigating measure’ must be withdrawn and the AIIC Negotiating Delegation must have full access to the requested ACI-related statistics that could be the basis of any new proposal.
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