Message from AIIC Co-ordinated Organisations Negotiating Delegation

Reporting on its 23 April meeting, held by video conference

Dear Colleagues,

The AIIC Negotiating Delegation (ND) held its first meeting with the Co-ordinated Organisations (COs) on Thursday 23 April 2020. The meeting was held by video-conference.

The ND members (Pascale Baldauf, Sylvie Boux, Barbara Grut and Bettina Ludewig-Quaine) all attended the meeting.   

The Council of Europe (CoE) was represented by Bernard Job, Alejandro Zamorano and Sally Bailey-Ravet.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was represented by Paolo Torres Martins and Olivier Wittezaele.

The European Space Agency (ESA) was represented by Mickael Torrado, Anne Dougal and Silke Bode.

Minutes of the meeting were taken by Anne-Cécile Joubert (CoE).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also attended the meeting, as an observer, represented by Olivier Péan.

The meeting was chaired by Bernard Job, and took place in a very friendly and courteous atmosphere.

The ND Coordinator, Bettina Ludewig-Quaine, presented the AIIC Delegation’s negotiating mandate, as adopted at the Sectoral meeting held in Strasbourg on 27 January 2020:

- Maintain and improve the acquis

- Clarify the scope of the Agreement

- Increase the basic rate of pay

- Include Sign Language Interpreters in the Agreement

- Extend the duration of the Agreement

- Increase transparency

- Remove the exception applicable to colleagues from non-OECD countries

- Time-limits for administrative appeals

Speaking on behalf of the COs, Bernard Job began by recalling that the COs and AIIC shared a long and mutually beneficial history, having successfully negotiated Sectoral Agreements on interpretation since 1969; the next Agreement, set to enter into force on 1 January 2021, would be the eleventh of its kind.

He spoke about the budgetary context within which the COs were operating at present and what might be expected in the future. He informed the ND of the COs’ main objective during these negotiations, namely to reduce the overall cost of interpretation by 5%.

Bernard Job went on to outline the various provisions within the Agreement and its additional protocols (Avenants) that the COs intended to explore in the hope of achieving this overall objective. These included:

  • The scope of the Agreement
  • Basic and higher rates of pay
  • Providence fund contributions
  • Notice periods for cancellations
  • Travel time calculations
  • Length of the Agreement
  • Exception applicable to interpreters from non-OECD countries
  • Remote interpretation

The CoE, NATO and the ESA all emphasised their wish to renew their Agreement with AIIC, and the OECD stated its interest in following the negotiating process as an observer.

The COs stressed how valuable it was for them to attract and retain the services of highly professional qualified conference interpreters.

The ND emphasised how important stability, cordial relations, fair remuneration and sound working conditions were to the interpreters it represented.

Having set out their respective objectives at this first introductory meeting, the ND and the COs agreed that they would reconvene in approximately three weeks’ time (exact date to be determined) in order to address some of the points that would form the subject matter of the negotiations.

If circumstances did not allow for a face-to-face encounter, the next meeting would also be held by video-conference.

Needless to say, the ND will keep the Sector informed, every step of the way.

Finally, in response to colleagues’ questions about RSI (remote simultaneous interpretation) further to the ND’s last email: the CoE has been testing RSI over the last 18 months and AIIC has been fully involved. An AIIC - CoE Agreement on working conditions applicable to a test phase was approved by AIIC and the CoE in December 2019. The test phase includes all real meetings interpreted in remote mode. Owing to the current pandemic, this Agreement is being applied in order to provide interpretation for meetings that could otherwise not be interpreted. The CoE is currently testing Kudo but will be testing other platforms in future. Interpreters will be asked to fill in a questionnaire to provide feedback to AIIC and the CoE. NATO has also been trialling RSI for a very limited number of non-classified meetings. The ESA has voiced potential interest.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. Please do not forget to sign up to our Sectoral Newsletter at: https://aiic.net/account/newsletters/

Best regards,
Your AIIC – Co-ordinated Organisations Negotiating Delegation


Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "Message from AIIC Co-ordinated Organisations Negotiating Delegation". aiic.net April 27, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2020. <http://aiic.net/p/8989>.


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