Welcome, preamble and designation of the session Chairperson
GAC-EPA President Enrico Chiaveri opens the General Assembly on 1 December 2022, which took place from 15.30 to 16.30 in CERN's main auditorium.
He welcomes the approximately 150 participants, thanks them for their presence, as well as the members who follow the webcast session.
The General Assembly should have been devoted to the revision of the GAC-EPA Rules. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond our control, the convocations by post could not be sent on time. The revision of the Rules is therefore postponed to a later date, most likely to spring 2023. Nevertheless, the Committee decided to maintain this assembly, which offers the possibility of meeting face-to-face for the first time in nearly three years due to the COVID19 pandemic.
That being said, Enrico turns our thoughts to all retirees who left us in 2022 and whose list appears on the screen; the assembly is asked to observe a minute of silence.
After this homage, Enrico proposes that Bernard Ducret be the Chair of the session, a proposal unanimously adopted.
Note: the presentations of the speakers are summarized in these minutes but you can also view the full version and listen to the recordings of the talks.
Report of the Chair of the GAC-EPA
Bernard Ducret gives the floor to Enrico Chiaveri, who presents the following report:
Aims, Means and Role of GAC-EPA
Enrico Chiaveri recalls the aims and means of the GAC-EPA, and the fact that our association is recognized as a partner representing pensioners by Member States, CERN Management and Staff Association. Pensioners depend on CERN's social security system, for their pension, their health and long-term care benefits. For most of us, there is no other coverage, in particular no coverage under national schemes. It is therefore essential to defend these social systems.
The causes of concern tend to increase, because of the international situation and inflation, which generate pressure from Member States, threaten the financial equilibrium of our social systems, not to mention the possibility (fortunately unlikely) of a dissolution of the Organization.
Composition of the Committee
In 2021, 8 outgoing members and 1 new member were elected. In 2022, 7 outgoing members and 3 new members were elected.
In both cases, the number of candidates was lower than the maximum number of positions to be filled. The Committee therefore decided to apply a tacit election procedure put in place during the pandemic.
In addition, two new auditors also ran this year and were also tacitly elected.
Enrico warmly thanks the members who have left the Committee: R.Barthelemy, G.Bossen, B.Ducret, F. Thevenet (in 2021) and G.Santiard (in 2022).
He encourages GAC-EPA members to apply next October, both to complete the Committee but also to ensure rotation and rejuvenation of its members.
Organisation chart of the Committee in 2023
Enrico reviews the composition of the 2023 Committee with a focus on the various functions of members serving pensioners, and in particular:
the Executive (presidency, treasury, secretariat), and the ESO representative,
our representative on the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB), our representatives on the pensions commission and the working group on the pension guarantee,
our representatives on the CHIS Board and the commission for social protection, and on the ESO Health Insurance Scheme (EHIS) Board,
representatives at the Mutual Aid Fund, dedicated members holding information sessions or helping on issues related to Social Security and taxation in France (Collectif C2S), not to mention the no less essential functions of the delegates to the Staff Council, representatives in the various committees of the Staff Association, the person in charge of social and cultural affairs, the Chief-Editor of the Bulletin and finally our invited member who is an IT expert.
In conclusion, Enrico displays the cover page of Bulletin 63 which will be sent to GAC-EPA members in December, recalling that this publication is rich in useful information.
Enrico is also appealing to members, asking them to:
communicate their email and authorize its use to be able to quickly transmit important information and simplify communication
inform through the GAC-EPA website of any changes to personal data using the form
Intervention of the President of the CERN Staff Association
Bernard Ducret gives the floor to the President of the CERN Staff Association, Isabelle Mardirossian.
CERN is facing inflation, particularly on energy costs, and reflections on potential savings have therefore been launched this summer, both within the Management and within the staff under the impetus of the Staff Association (SA).
In September, the SA launched a survey to collect proposals, followed by a referendum on the proposals selected by the Staff Council.
The position of the SA is to seek savings without touching the fundamentals of personnel policy (application of the CVI, annual promotions, maintaining the level of staff) in order to maintain the attractiveness of the Organization and to remain within the legal framework defined in the past in the judgments of the ILO Administrative Tribunal. The SA also considers it important not to engage in long-term restriction programs, as the situation may evolve favorably in the coming years.
About the pensioners in particular, the SA's proposals include the possible internalization of all or part of pension taxes, a mechanism already applied in some other international organizations.
This work was followed by a period of discussions in various bodies and committees of the Organization (Standing Concertation Committee, Tripartite Committee). As the Director General has made an arbitration favorable to the views of the SA, a proposal for a 2.5% reduction in staff salaries in 2023 only, compensated by an additional week of leave, will be presented to the Council in mid-December, along with other cost-saving measures such as a reduction in the period of operation of the accelerators or the study of voluntary departures.
The SA will continue to inform pensioners about the situation through the GAC-EPA. Isabelle thanks the members of GAC-EPA for their support.
Isabelle also mentions an important point that will be presented to the Council in mid-December, namely the guarantee of the health protection system (CHIS) in the event of dissolution of the Organization.
Following a number of questions relating to specific cases and concerning practical aspects (e.g. reimbursement of medical expenses through health insurance), the Chair recalls the possibility of contacting the GAC-EPA via the contact form or during the information sessions whose calendar can be consulted on the GAC-EPA public website.
Bernard Ducret, Chair of the session, closes the General Assembly and invites us to share a glass of friendship.