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Tuesday 13 September 2022

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Whether it is the increase in the prime fixe collective or the annual primes and promotions campaign, AFP isn’t doing enough to protect our purchasing power faced with the current surge in inflation or ensure a normal evolution of wages during our careers. During the workplace elections from September 23 to 30, you will have the opportunity to make your voice heard. Here is a summary of the situation.

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Purchasing power, wages, bonuses and promotions

The wage talks this summer resulted in a prime of €70 (gross, before the seniority bonus) and a reduction of around €25 in our contribution to our mutuelle uMEn. That worked out to a wage increase of approximately 2.3% on average, according to management.

But as we all know all too well, inflation is running much higher. The annual inflation rate in France was 5.8 percent in August, and it may climb further. This means each of us is de facto accepting a wage cut as our real purchasing power erodes.

SUD considers this unacceptable and refuses such compromises on wages. Even more so as our management doesn’t even intend to ask the French state for an inflation increase to the subsidy for our public interest mission. Too bad if the inflation costs are borne by staff…

Management was, on the other hand, adamant about the principle of a fixed prime to avoid raising our pay scales on a percentage basis, which would have ensured our career plans remain attractive.

The future doesn’t look any better: the end of general wage hikes! Management has said it prefers to use the annual primes and promotions campaign. This is a shift to “merit-based” pay awards. These are primes and promotions outside of the career plans and are entirely at the discretion of management.

SUD denounces this extreme ideological position. Allowing our real wages to decline due to inflation in the hopes of securing a bonus or promotion is a bad deal for staff. For confirmation of that all we need to do is look at the primes and promotions campaign.

The first problem with bonuses: a complete lack of transparency!

What, you don’t know who or how many people got a bonus or promotion earlier this year? No surprise, as management doesn’t publish anything about it anymore. Sure, unions received some information (see the table), but the names of beneficiaries remain secret. The only thing we know for sure: many staff complain of not having received bonuses for a long time, which is a source of frustration and demotivation.

The second problem is the budget for primes. In a year when AFP made a record profit of 10.6 million euros, just under €150,000 (or 1.4% of the profit) was allocated for bonuses for HQ-status employees. That’s clearly an insufficient level if AFP intends to make primes a main mechanism for the evolution of wages. And of course, there’s little chance this will be increased if we return to the losses or tiny profits of the past. Moreover, these primes are one-shot.

SUD is fundamentally opposed to paying bonuses when management fails to raise wages in line with inflation!

Salvation won’t come either from the promotions and “augmentations” accorded voluntarily each year by management (in addition to those required by career plans), which are also made without any transparency. These are a permanent increase in salary but less than what would be obtained by promotion to the next highest category. These are permanent increases in wages, but few staff benefit (see the table)
Management seems more inclined to award augmentations, which is a raise that is less than an increase to the next category. For SUD, this is a tacit admission by management that the career plans and wage scales agreed as part of the 2017 workplace agreement need to be adjusted as they don’t sufficiently motivate people. Management has rejected SUD’s demands to create new levels for seniority bonuses, but it discreetly awards certain staff with mid-category raises.

SUD reiterates its call for improvements to our career plans and the creation of new levels of seniority bonuses at 25 and 30 years, which is the only way to ensure the salaries of ALL staff increase over their careers and to reduce the difference in earnings between men and women.

From September 23-30 you will have the opportunity to choose who to represent you in the CSE and which unions will have the right to negotiate with management on wages and work conditions for the next four years. SUD has been steadfast in its efforts to obtain more for you, including waging legal battles against management when necessary, and diligent in communicating to you what management is doing.

Give us more representatives to negotiate better work and pay conditions!
Vote for both SUD’s lists of candidates and alternates!!

Come meet SUD’s candidates

on September 19
(more information on Aurore)

Our campaign manifesto and other materials can be seen here:
http://u.afp.com/ioxR (Aurore intranet link)

Paris, September 13, 2022
SUD-AFP (Solidarity-Unity-Democracy)