European Parliament (EP): interpreters rights flouted

On 14/07/2017, the Secretary-General unilaterally imposed new working conditions on staff and freelance interpreters without consulting the Staff Committee, in violation of the principles of social dialogue defined in Article 55.2 of the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and Article 19.2 of the Bureau Decision of 16/01/2006 (working conditions of interpreters). In response, at the European Parliament (EP), interpreters mobilised en masse to take trade union action from the 23/10/2017 and to assert their rights.

Only constrained by the prospect of imminent action did the Secretary-General announce, on 20/10/2017, a “resumption of social dialogue”, but only with the Staff Committee and unilaterally excluding elected representatives of interpreters.

Excerpt in Politico :

Next week’s European Parliament plenary week in Strasbourg could be disrupted by a series of strikes by interpreters, who plan to stop work for “one or two hours” a day, according to several officials and trade union members.

The interpreters, who give live translation of parliamentary proceedings into the 24 official languages of the EU, are protesting against what they describe as a “unilateral” decision to change their working hours.

A majority of interpreters will stop providing interpretation to meetings held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to protest against decisions made in 2017 — allegedly without consultation — by Parliament Secretary-General Klaus Welle to increase the time they must spend in interpreting booths.