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Christian Roy passed away on 31 January. He was 79 years old. His death has deeply touched all those who knew him during his long career at CERN. His close colleagues and his superiors knew his professional qualities and his extreme devotion to the Organization. But it is his qualities as a man that we think of today: the qualities that he put to use in the service of the Staff Association.
In fact, Christian Roy was one of the small number of staff delegates who, during many years, sacrificed a large part of their free time and their family life to work towards the improvement of the working and social conditions of their colleagues, active or retired, present and future. Certain of these delegates played a particular role in the history of social relations in the Organization because they actively worked for a long period in order to improve these relations. For Christian Roy this activity was extremely intense and long. In fact, quite recently, in 2014, he was working with GAC-EPA on the problems of pensioners with the French tax authorities.
For many years Christian was a member of the Executive Committee and President of the Staff Association. A few years before this, one of his predecessors as President of the Staff Association had given a new direction to relations with the Administration. He had also inaugurated a new method of group working, in particular to put forward the point of view of the staff in the management of the pensions system.
Christian Roy took advantage of these changes to enlarge the role of the Staff Association. Driven by his love of legal questions, he got the Staff Association to be more actively involved in the writing of texts governing labour laws. He also led the Staff Association to be really influential in decisions concerning staff employment conditions in general. He thus put his imprint on the social relations of the Organization.
His ideas and his undeniable talents as an orator often gave him a power of conviction that was difficult to resist. We remember the determination with which he organized the first demonstration of CERN personnel in an impressive procession to show the Finance Committee their refusal of measures they were seeking to take. This despite the reticence of many Staff Association delegates.
It was also during his Presidency that the Staff Association started informal meetings with delegates from the Member States. The aim was better preparation of the formal discussions on personnel policy questions, thanks to a better understanding of the points of view of both sides. These informal meetings still take place since all parties can see their utility.
A few years after his Presidency, Christian agreed to represent the Association with the President and Vice-President in the RESCO Commission for the Five-Yearly Review. This participation of the Association in the work was new and our representatives were present only by "invitation" of the Management. It was several years before this Commission officially became the Tripartite Commission that we know today, and where our delegates sit as full members.
With his personal qualities, Christian Roy played an important part in the development of relations between the authorities of CERN and its personnel.
The CERN personnel owes much to his personal qualities, and this is what will remain in our memories.