USB-Agencies’ continuous efforts to implement their commitment

Isidoros Tsouros

The creation of the USB-Agencies section has been part of our long effort to include the Agencies in the EU Staff Regulations and to ensure that the agencies comply with, and apply in full, the Staff Regulations and the Conditions of employment of other European Union Communities.

After years and years of negotiations, the birth of the USB – Agencies section adopted by the general meeting in June 2022 came as one of the achievements we are most proud of in recent years.

The continuous growth of EU Agencies and their expanding operational budgets have raised concerns about the working conditions and staff representation within these organizations. In response to these concerns, the latest USF Congress has formulated a resolution highlighting the urgent need for improved working conditions and formal staff representation in EU Agencies.

Under this context, our Union Syndicale representatives in the USB-Agency section have been actively involved in assisting our members from various agencies, and the numbers reflect the impact of our efforts. In the first six months of 2023, the USB Agencies Section received and provided advice to a total of 65 members across different agencies. It is important to note that these figures do not include consultations with the lawyers recommended by the Union, which means these statistics exclusively represent the direct involvement of our Section.

Regarding the nature of the cases we handled, they were as diverse as the agencies themselves, such as termination of a contract, recruitment process, reclassification, appraisals process, harassment issues, inquiries about shift allowances, support in pension matters, serious illness and joint sickness insurance scheme, an occupational accident during his shift, etc.

This is part of our commitment to the importance of addressing the working conditions of staff in EU Agencies. We propose various measures to support better career prospects, such as faster reclassification and the possibility for contract agents to become temporary agents. We advocate for internal and external mobility possibilities, harmonization of contract durations across EU Agencies, and the limitation of precarious contract staff, and many more.

It is worth noting that this period marked the first six months of operation for the USB Agencies Section. The significant number of cases received and the positive feedback from members are a testament to the Section’s relevance and importance in supporting and representing our fellow colleagues. The feedback from our members indicates their satisfaction with the quality and effectiveness of the advice provided. The USB Agencies Section successfully addressed the needs and concerns of many of the members and will continue to do so.

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