Europe’s civil servants are having their fight for a pay rise taken to court, because the European Union member states, who are only willing to give them half of what they want. The rules say EU institution employees get an automatic annual adjustment. It is based on the average salary in the previous year for civil servants in eight countries.
The member states’ Council, since ordinary citizens are struggling with the effects of economic crisis, voted to split the difference. This would give some 50,000 EU staff not a planned 3.7% annual increase in pay but 1.85%.
The European Commission, at its first full meeting of the new year, confirmed its decision to take action through the European Court of Justice. Court rulings take an average of 16 months, but the EU executive body asked it to speed things up in this case.
Protest rumblings continue, with some staff at the European Parliament saying they plan to obstruct next week’s scheduled hearings of the member states’ new nominees to the Commission. The approval of the entire next Commission is subject to a parliamentary vote, nominally set for January 26.