GAC-EPA — Groupement des Anciens du CERN-ESO Pensioners' Association




Dear Colleagues,

The Staff Association and the CERN-ESO Pensioners’ Association want to let you know that they are deeply worried.

Decisions taken by CERN Council at its latest closed sessions attracted our attention. Since these sessions took place behind closed doors, without the presence of the Association, we had to investigate, crossing several sources of information. Result: The attitude of some delegations shocked us and fills us with indignation.

Let us recall the facts: the Management's action plan to compensate for the soaring Swiss franc against the euro, did not reach a consensus among the Member States, forcing Management to withdraw it. Strange, when one considers that CERN was the only international organization based in Switzerland to come forward with such an initiative.

On the contrary, Council is once again using the Pension Fund as a “scape goat”. It should be recalled here, that past decisions by CERN Council on the Fund's management are behind the current difficulties. Still, Council wishes to solve this problem at the expense of active staff and retirees. It has just appointed three legal experts to investigate how the acquired rights, protecting the pensions of current and future beneficiaries, could be challenged.

Indeed, despite the praise expressed by Council on the work done by CERN people, it continues to discuss again and again our employment conditions, seen as being too advantageous. Staff and Management, considered partial, are regularly confronted with hostile attacks from some Council members.

As an example of what we discovered; one of the delegates has declared that ”one of the root causes of that problem, in his view, was that key information to the Council on matters such as the C coefficient, for instance, was systematically provided by CERN staff, whom he did not consider to be impartial. Similarly, the legal experts who had produced the study of acquired rights in 2006 had been paid by the Staff Association.”

The Association firmly rejects such an assertion; they were not paid by the Staff Association. Besides, similar reports on the issue of acquired rights made by other experts in the 1980s and 1990s have given the same advice as the one of 2006.
In addition, this statement suggests that the one, who chooses the experts, obtains the advice he wants, something that would also discredit the upcoming expertise. Moreover it questions the integrity of CERN personnel at all levels.

This statement would be anecdotal and we would not have disclosed it, had it not been made by one of the delegates appointed by the CERN Council to the Pension Fund Governing Board. We will have to bear the full consequences of this appointment.

Furthermore, several delegations clearly disputed the annual payment of 60 MCHF, the Member States' contribution to the package of measures agreed in 2010 to recapitalize the Pension Fund.

The future of the Organization and of its staff are intimately linked. We will not allow a handful of delegates to destroy what makes the success of CERN, namely: the good cooperation between countries and the ability to attract, retain and motivate staff of the highest competence.

Get ready; the time for action has arrived!

For more information, we invite you to contact the Staff Association delegates of your department or to visit our website.