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Télétravail: For management, it’s hurry up to wait

Wednesday 21 September 2022

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Two days before voting starts in AFP’s workplace election, management called a meeting with trade unions to discuss the télétravail accord which expires soon. Discuss may be an embellishment because management only wanted to talk about an extension.

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Management considers it impossible to negotiate a new accord before the current one expires on December 31, in order to have more time to discuss with staff their experience with télétravail, something we’ve been doing on a massive scale since 2020!

Coincidently, the delay lets management dodge the question of reimbursing télétravail costs when it will be the most pressing with the energy crisis.

“We can’t separate the subjects, we’ll see about that later,” was management’s response. This is the same management that has been in much more of a rush on other issues, like when it came to sharing the neighboring rights money from the deal with Google. (SUD argued, in vain, to wait several months to see how other media resolved the issue.)

As usual, management didn’t hesitate to resort to a bit of blackmail to convince the hesitant: “If you don’t sign, then on January 1 we’ll revert to the old accord, with just one day of télétravail.” It’s clearly an empty threat, but it was enough to sap the combativity of certain trade unions. “We don’t have much choice” but to go along with management, concluded one trade unionist, summing up their state of mind.

But we do! We always have a choice. SUD believes that there is nothing stopping us from beginning negotiations once elections are finished. And if we don’t finish before the end of December, then we can still extend the current agreement for another month or two to wrap up negotiations. But there is no reason to immediately kick the can down the road too far.

SUD won’t sign and we call for the opening of negotiations immediately following the negotiations. Télétravail is an enormous subject, as are the expectations of staff. Here are some of our proposals:

  • Compensation of €2.50 for each day of télétravail to cover winter electricity and heating costs
  • Added flexibility in the selection of remote working days
  • More remote working possibilities for those on part-time contracts
  • A review to study opening up remote working for excluded posts, like video stringers, as well as apprentices (while ensuring they receive proper training).

Télétravail is a top concern of staff. There is no question to put off needed changes for months. It’s time to negotiate!

SUD campaign manifestos: http://u.afp.com/wvTu (Aurore link)

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Paris, September 21, 2022
SUD-AFP (Solidarity, Unity, Democracy)
contact@sud-afp.org