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Report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation - October 2007

Report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation on the negotiations of the new agreement

Following further technical working group and plenary meetings on the revision of the AIIC-EU Agreement, we present a situation report on all areas under discussion.  Much of this information has been given in earlier reports, but for convenience is repeated here and supplemented by information provided or confirmed this month.  Where outline agreement is indicated, we mean that the matter is agreed subject to everything else being agreed.

Only one further plenary meeting has been scheduled, on 13 November in Strasbourg.  On 14 November, at 1.15pm, also in Strasbourg, the delegation will hold an information meeting for colleagues.  Details will follow.

1. Categories structure and remuneration : NO AGREEMENT

Institutions' proposal on 23 Oct. 2007: Beginners' remuneration to drop by 11%, experienced ACIs' to drop by 6%.  580 days under contract to become experienced.  To apply to ACI accredited after any revision of the Agreement comes into force.  ACI already accredited to remain on present rates. 

Proposal rejected by the Delegation.

2. Flat-rate travel allowance : NO AGREEMENT PENDING FINAL PACKAGE

The Institutions have proposed that this allowance would no longer be due if on the evening of a day under contract to one Institution the ACI travels from his professional domicile to the place of assignment for a contract with another Institution the following day (e.g. ACI works in Bxl. for SCIC on a Monday, travels to Luxembourg on Mon. evening to work for the Court on the Tuesday).

3. Hardship Missions/ Missions itinérantes : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

SCIC would pay an additional allowance of 50% of the daily remuneration (minus tax, pension contribution etc.) for each day of the mission on which on-duty time exceeds 12 hours, the limit applicable for permanent staff.   Need to assign two interpreters able to work both ways emphasised.  

Hardship missions an undefined concept in EP. 

Not relevant in Court of Justice.

4. Long haul travel : STILL UNDER DISCUSSION

Proposal : SCIC and EP - Business class travel if aggregate travel time exceeds 4 hours and destination is outside geographical Europe. 

If time difference at destination is more than 4 hours and/or there is a change of hemisphere: 1 rest day under contract upon arrival at place of assignment, and ACI

not assigned to a meeting on day of return.  Delegation proposed a second rest day upon return.  Institutions not necessarily prepared to agree.  Currently exploring how to ensure equivalence with officials' compensation.

5. Transferability of contracts : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

ACI would be consulted in all cases where Institution proposed transfer of contract from one place of assignment to another, AND/OR from one Institution to another.

6. Cancellation clause : NO AGREEMENT

Institutions still proposing 30-day cancellation clause, down from current 60 days.  Rejected by delegation.

7. Travel conditions : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

a. air travel

New fare basis, semi-flexible, changeable and reimburseable on payment of a penalty.  All penalties resulting from changes to contract initiated by the Institutions to be paid by the Institutions.  Penalties or fare increases incurred by changes to programme assignments (e.g.cancellation of final day at Court, meeting finishing early on mission) require prior consultation of relevant official.  Penalties resulting from changes initiated by the ACI to be paid by the ACI, except in the event of death or serious illness in close family.   (For ACI illness, hotel bills would in future be paid also by SCIC, until the end of the contract, as is already the case at EP). Circular tickets to be treated as at present; the Institutions would not in any event reimburse more than the cost of the return fare between the professional domicile and the place of assignment.   Higher fares reimbursed where necessary (e.g. late recruitment, lower fares no longer available).  No definition yet of how far ahead purchase would normally be expected, but acknowledgement that definition is essential.  This lead time might vary, by Institution and, in EP, by type of week (plenary, committee...).

SCIC contracts: ACIs would indicate choice of flights and airports by e-mail or telephone to the SCIC travel agency, agency replies by text message within 4 hours alerting ACI to consult travel proposals and conditions, ACI required to respond within 24-72 hours, agency would issue electronic ticket or make it available at airport, agency contactable outside office hours by e-mail address and contact tel. no. (not toll-free contrary to earlier indication).  Use of SCIC agency optional but if used ticket would be pre-paid (no payment advanced by ACI) and remuneration and daily allowances would be paid in full within 5 days of the end of the contract.

EP plenary in Strasbourg: No change to present situation. ACI purchases ticket on current fully flexible fare basis.
EP Brussels, Luxembourg and missions: New fare basis. ACI purchases ticket.  Early reimbursement as at present ("avance").

Court of Justice: as for EP Brussels, Luxembourg and missions.

b. Rail travel

Though it would not be compulsory, if the ACI of his/her own volition opts for a railway company scheme entitling him/her to reduced train fares on purchase of a railcard, the Institutions will reimburse the price of the railcard when enough reduced price tickets have been purchased to amortise its cost.  The railcard must then be used for purchasing any further tickets for contracts with the Institutions until expiry, but may of course also be used for private travel.  (A similar system would apply for hotel loyalty cards.)

c. Travel by car

If travel takes place the day before the first day or the day after the final day of a contract and no hotel bill is presented for the first or last night, ACI required to present evidence (motorway toll, petrol etc. receipt) that travel took place on the day in question for payment of flat-rate hotel and flat-rate travel allowance.  Random sampling would end.

8. Training : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

SCIC : ACI could attend SCIC language classes under current conditions.  In addition, 20 grants per annum would be available for 1-month study visits if the language is deemed by SCIC to be a priority.  Support of HIU needed, and a pass in a pre-study visit assessment test.  On return ACI expected to sit test to add the language at the earliest opportunity and to give priority to the Institutions for the next two years.   Grant of €3,000 for a maximum of 30 days + course fees up to €1,250 (if less, reimbursement of actual fee paid) + 1 return trip up to €250 max.  Not to be combined with grants from other Institutions.

EP: As at present; more structured approach to be explored.

Court: No budget line, though possibility to be explored.

9. Guaranteed free evening : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

Would be introduced in SCIC under exactly the same conditions as for permanent staff.  Already the case in EP.  Not relevant in Court of Justice.

10. Meeting preparation time under contract for Professional Delegations : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

Preparation time for meetings of professional delegations with respective administrations to be a programme assignment if members under contract, and provided administrations have discretion for scheduling the preparation time.

11. Webstreaming of meetings and audio access to interpretation of proceedings by other means : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

Agreement to include provision on disclaimer notice and protection of ACI's legal rights and reputation.

12. Confidentiality clause : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

Agreement to include a provision regarding professional confidentiality.

13. Administrative improvements: OUTLINE AGREEMENT

E-mails to payments unit to be acknowledged in all cases, provided e-mail is copied to general unit address.

Toll-free number for CRISTAL, as is the case with VOCAL.  Court to explore possibility of providing link to programme.

14. Indication of professional domicile : OUTLINE AGREEMENT

ACI's professional domicile to be indicated on CV page.  For AIIC members this will automatically be the same as the domicile declared to AIIC.  


Recommended citation format:
European Union Negotiating Delegation. "Report from the AIIC-EU negotiating delegation - October 2007". aiic.net November 5, 2007. Accessed July 11, 2020. <http://aiic.net/p/2799>.



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Ellen Ruth MOERMAN

   

Very briefly.

1. flat rate travel allowance/restricted tickets/reimbursement of tickets.

Booking of travel/hotel is becoming increasingly time consuming (that is the interpreter's time, which remain unpaid) and additional cost of telephoning/hassle of e-mail communicaiton for prior approval - costly.

2. Status beginners/experienced - are we heading for privatisation of part of the interpreting work? We have seen it all in the UK government market, which is now basically in the hands of two commercial operators offering US contracts to interpreters for work on EU territory, via UK frontages. UK authorities say "we don't get involved in contracts between supplier and interpreter". There is also some evidence of breaches of confidentiality by commercial operators.

3. Several points listed do not mention outcome/delegation's position.

4. cancellation - eu following commercial market practice, where 4 weeks concellation is now basically down to 7 days - or less, in the worst cases.

Submit: the shorter the cancellation period, the less likely that the right interpreter is available at the right time in the right place - therefore, ultimately expensive to institutions.

5. what training do institutions offer to the AICs?

6. Linking AIIC domicile to EU institutions domicile is nonsense as 1. The AIIC choice of domicile may be dictated by commercial market considerations. Irrelevant to EU Institutions and 2. We can change our AIIC related domicile and 3. the whole domicile issue needs to be reconsidered in the light of the effect of low cost travel on overall cost of recruitment.

Ellen Moerman

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