The thing that is closest to my heart is the well-being, in particular, all the issues related to harassment. In fact, I was very much involved in the consultations because well-being at work is paramount. A person who feels well in their work environment will do a good job and give the best of themselves.
It is important for me to listen to people: whether they are members of US or not, they come to discuss their case. Sometimes, we are blocked by the Staff Regulations. For certain situations, I unfortunately do not have a magic wand. However, it helps that people are able to speak and be listened to. Giving them my time really helps them. Even if they do not always leave with a solution, they feel reassured as they were able to express their discomfort or their feelings.
I also like very much to support people prepare their self-evaluation, help them for their interview with their manager, precisely by advising them what they can write in their evaluation. My work on the reclassification committee for contract agents is a long-term job which takes a lot of time because there are a thousand pages to read but which, for me, is very rewarding. It allows me to understand the situation on the ground, to better understand the staff, the procedures and the management constraints.
I also organise a lot of mock interviews teaming up with other colleagues (such as Nicolas Mavraganis, president of the USF), whether for new hires in a new department or to prepare for certification. I try to help our members, for example, with their presentations. In terms of career follow-up, I help both civil servants and contract agents. I do not overlook any category.
For me, our members do not have grades, they are colleagues who ask for help. Sometimes I even help non-members because no matter what the problem is, if a person needs help, you support them: whether it is a problem at the PMO or with a manager. If they join afterwards, so much the better. Solidarity is a good thing for everyone.
This is a very complex question. When I talk to people, I am very honest and, as I often say, I play the devil’s advocate. I am not interested in promising them that I am going to find a miracle solution… In some cases, I know the administration’s answers and I know that there are things for which we will not have the solutions they expect. I am always very frank with people who come to see me: I do not invent solutions for them that do not exist. I try to help them, to have contacts with the administration to find solutions. Fortunately, in many cases, and I am happy for them, we manage to reach an agreement.
With regard to concertations, files as harassment, promotions, sickness, contract agents, are much more difficult, and, unfortunately, they involve very long-term negotiations. Often, we have to review them, because we find a solution, but we realise that it works only on paper, not in the field. In such cases, we need to review everything and find alternatives.
We try, with the other unions, to value the staff, to put forward their well-being, but as everywhere, we do not win all the battles.