Solidarity action for long-serving ECB agency staff
Breaking News, Burning issues
ECB staff calls for sound staffing and equal pay at the ECB
Today, 14 July 2016, upon a call of IPSO, the International and European Public Services Organisation, c. 120 staff of and persons working for the European Central Bank (ECB) gathered for a solidarity action for equal pay and sound staffing at the ECB. IPSO, the union representing the interests of persons working for the ECB, organized the event in support of c. 200-250 temporary agency workers at the ECB. These persons face an uncertain professional future after long-time assignments to the ECB. The action aimed to support the union in talks with the ECB on agency work at the ECB. The ECB’s management has for the last 10-15 years relied on temporary agency staff for permanent tasks. This was due to an understaffing of the ECB for which the Governing Council, the ECB’s top-decision-making body was and is responsible.
The practice of (ab-)using one and the same temporary agency staff member for a permanent task is now coming to an end due to the foreseen changes to the German law governing temporary agency work. As a result, long-serving temporary agents at the ECB may face the risk of unemployment. IPSO and the staff request that the colleagues on permanent jobs are taken on the ECB payroll and not sent back to their temporary work agencies where they may face unemployment. Johannes Priesemann, President of IPSO, said: “The use of agency staff is not proper for a European institution. The long-serving colleagues need to be taken on board and be compensated for unequal pay by the ECB.”
IPSO also claims that the draft German law on temporary agency is not in line with the EU Directive on temporary agency work. The proposal to allow the assignment of temporary agency workers to permanent tasks on a revolving basis for 9-months assignments with unequal pay infringes the Directive and the principle of European law that indefinite labour contracts are the European standard. The action aimed to support the union in the informal talks with the ECB on agency work at the ECB and to support the union’s claims.