Open letter of support to Council of Europe Staff

The Union Syndicale Fédérale, USF, has followed the worrying developments at the Council of Europe with regard to Member States and non-payments of their contributions and the effect it has on all staff working for the institution for the past years.
The Council of Europe Staff Trade Union (SACE), USF affiliate in the Council of Europe, has informed us about the current alarming proposal of Staff reductions in the framework of Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland’s Contingency Plan that might for the first time involve a significant number of involuntary departures. We have been told that under this plan the Organisation’s staff will be cut by 14% over a three-year period up to 2022, corresponding to the loss of about 250 jobs. All types of contracts (temporary, CDD, CDI) will be concerned. The plan provides, in particular, for the early termination of service of some 100 staff on CDI contracts.
At a time when the Council of Europe is more than ever a necessary institution in view of the worrying trends developing in Europe and beyond, the USF wants to express its concern to the situation at the Council of Europe. Like the Staff representatives of the Council of Europe, USF is deeply concerned by the serious social consequences for all staff under this proposal and also the negative effect on diversity and the effectiveness of the Council of Europe’s activities as a whole.
USF therefore strongly supports the high visibility event planned on 19 March and stands ready with its fellow colleagues in this action defending the interest of all staff working for the Council of Europe. It also supports the petition launched by SACE demanding a call for candidates for voluntary departure from the Organisation, aimed to avoid or limit to a minimum involuntary departures.
USF is following the developments closely and will give further support to its members and fellow European civil servants in their demands for a just and long-term approach securing the staff situation at the Council of Europe.

Dr Bernd Loescher
USF President

USF was set up 40 years ago and has currently 21 Unions Syndicale’s affiliated, representing a variety of locations within the European and International Public Service. Their members number thousands of people of all grades, nationalities, professions and contractual status.

Download the support letter (18 March 2019)