EU - report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation, June 2007
Report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation on the negotiations of the new agreement
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Two further meetings have been held in the current talks on the revision of the Agreement on financial terms and conditions, the working group on travel conditions and the plenary having met on 5 and 6 June respectively. An information meeting for colleagues was held in Brussels on 6 June. Below is a summary of the Delegation's report.
1. Travel conditions
The travel conditions working group has almost completed its work, all results of which require endorsement by the plenary meeting. There is outline agreement that the standard fare would be semi-flexible. This fare is not necessarily the cheapest available, but changes and reimbursements involve payment of a penalty. The Institutions would pay the cost of any changes or reimbursements triggered by contract changes they propose. Penalties due to changes originating with the ACI would be borne by the ACI, with circular ticket costs handled as they are at present: the Institution would in any event not reimburse more than the cost of the return fare between the professional domicile and the place of assignment.
For contracts with SCIC, use of the SCIC travel agency would be optional, and ACIs would be able to indicate their choice of flights and airports. If the ACI opts to use the SCIC travel agency, tickets would be issued pre-paid, and remuneration and daily allowances would also be paid in full within 5 days. For EP and Court of Justice contracts, the services cannot guarantee a pre-paid ticket system with their respective travel agencies.
The group is still examining further points including:
- whether genuine advance payments might be made on tickets purchased independently by the ACI
- when the ACI should purchase in order to be guaranteed reimbursement without query
- payment or reimbursement of penalties in the event of serious illness or accident of a family member or similar
- payment of hotel costs in the event of illness during a contract
- the type of supporting evidence to be produced in certain cases of travel by car (see section 3).
The travel group will also examine other issues: definition of fair compensation for long-haul and hardship missions, the provisions for which will be considered in the working group.
The delegation emphasises that nothing has yet been formally agreed and any agreement will depend on an overall agreement being reached on all issues. Meanwhile, pending entry into force of a revised Agreement, the present conditions and system for travel reimbursement still apply.
2. The Delegation's proposals
The Institutions having failed to produce the text promised at the previous meeting, it was agreed to return at the next meeting to the question of training allowances for ACIs adding a language. The Institutions also agreed in principle on:
- protection of the ACI's legal rights and reputation when his/her work is recorded and reproduced; the Institutions are still looking into the matter of any commercial use.
- system of guaranteed assignment-free evenings ("soirée garantie") in SCIC
- preparation time to be scheduled for professional delegations before their meetings with the Administration, provided the Institution can take programme requirements into account in scheduling this preparation time
- publication of ACIs' professional addresses, pending agreement by the DPO.
3. The Institutions' proposals
The Institutions would no longer require supporting evidence for travel by car when no claim is made for a flat-rate travel allowance or the ACI submits a hotel bill for the relevant date. The travel group will look at the type of supporting evidence that might be required in other cases.
The Institutions have proposed abandoning the link to air-fares in decisions to grant Art. 11 (days not worked), but need to consider further any alternative system, particularly the insurance angle.
They have proposed that under any revised Agreement the flat-rate travel allowance should no longer be paid for a date already under contract to another Institution.
In case 10/06, the civil service tribunal in Luxembourg held that this allowance is due in such circumstances and the Delegation recommends that colleagues check that they have been paid the flat-rate travel allowance for recent contracts in such situations, and that they request payment if it has not been made.
The Institutions made a further proposal regarding remuneration and ACI categories:
- two categories
- beginners to be paid €314.26 gross (-14%), experienced ACI €476.14 gross (-6%), those already accredited to remain on the present scale
- 500 days work required to progress from beginners' category to experienced.
The Delegation noted the proposal, and proposed returning to the issue when the talks have finished exploring all the other issues. The Institutions agreed.
Other proposals made by the Institutions at earlier meetings were not discussed at the June meetings. Aware that the Institutions occasionally consult colleagues about switching a contract to another Institution, the Delegation recommends that those who accept such a switch write to both the Institutions concerned stating that their acceptance does not constitute a precedent.
The next plenary meeting is scheduled for 11 September, with a meeting of the travel working group on 10 September.
Recommended citation format:European Union Negotiating Delegation. "EU - report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation, June 2007". aiic.net June 20, 2007. Accessed June 4, 2020. <http://aiic.net/p/2701>.
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