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The 1969 Framework Agreement

Friday 14 November 2008

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Protocol Agreement between Agence France Presse, represented by its President-Director General, and the company’s union delegates
[Translation from the original French by SUD-AFP]

Within the framework of the general orientations adopted by the Agence France-Presse board during its meeting of December 17, 1969 regarding the management of affairs concerning the agency’s staff,

And given the particular character of the agency, with a large number of staff members spread out over many categories and located both within Metropolitan France and outside its borders,

It is hereby decided, by agreement between the management of Agence France-Presse and its staff, that the institution of first resort for consultation and appeals is to involve the staff delegates (délégués du personnel) acting collectively as a Joint Delegation (Interdélégation), within a framework of direct and permanent contact.

This implies that the Joint Delegation, be it on a plenary basis, via sub-committees, or as per staff category, be kept informed by management of management’s plans regarding human resources policies and of its intentions regarding subjects of direct interest to staff, that is to say hirings, staff transfers, promotions and any possible disciplinary measures. The Joint Delegation is also to be kept informed, in a timely fashion, of jobs made available as well as the prospects for job vacancies and of the creation or suppression of posts and jobs.

The provision of the aforementioned information should make it possible both to effectively protect staff interests and ensure that relations between AFP’s management and its staff can be carried on within a climate of trust.

The Joint Delegation is to be given a hearing, either at its request or at the initiative of management, and it is to be able to get across its remarks and observations.

An additional guarantee is to be provided to staff in the form of a right to individual appeal when initial procedures have failed. If required, the person concerned has a right to be heard by a special committee of the governing board. The plaintiff has the right to be represented by his or her staff delegates, and management also has the right to be represented.

It goes without saying that all these arrangements do not affect the prerogatives and responsibilities of the President-Director General [CEO], as laid down in the Agency’s statutes. Furthermore, they may not infringe on the legal rights of the Works Committee (Comité d’entreprise) or those of the union delegates (délégués syndicaux), and they may not impose any limits on the activities and monitoring rights - as currently existing - of those institutions.

Signed in Paris on December 22 1969, in six copies.

For Agence France-Presse: Yves Morvan, aka Jean Marin
For the C.G.T. union: M. J.A. Basset
For the S.N.J. union: M. J.M. Basset
For the F.O. union: M. Noule
For the C.F.D.T. union: -
For the C.F.T.C. union: M. Frésil M. Kervean


Practical Arrangements for Implementation of the December 22, 1969 Protocol Agreement, Drawn up Jointly by Management and the Joint Delegation of Staff Representatives

Plenary meetings of staff delegates, accompanied by union-appointed delegates:

To take place every month on a set date - the second Friday of the month at 11:30 am - with advance notice at least two days ahead of the subjects which each party wishes to discuss.
Further meetings if required, at the request either of the joint staff representatives’ delegation or of management:
Notice of at least two days to be provided to the other party, with an indication of the subjects to be put on the agenda for discussion.

Meetings by staff category, as required, either at the request of management or at that of the representatives:

As far as is possible, advance notice to be given of at least two days, with indication of the issues that the convening party wishes to have discussed.

The president or the secretary of the Joint Representatives’ Delegation may attend category-specific meetings, according to the type of issue being discussed.

HIRINGS

All job offers within Metropolitan France are to be posted, at headquarters and in provincial bureaus, with a copy being simultaneously provided to the staff delegates. However for temporary posts of less than one month’s duration, it is possible to forgo display of the offer in view of the practical difficulties involved.

POSTINGS

All job vacancies or prospects of vacancies, and any possible creations of posts either at headquarters or in bureaus in Metropolitan France or abroad, when they involve jobs liable to be held by staff with headquarters status, are to be displayed and sent to the staff delegates in the same conditions [as above].

The said vacancies or prospects of vacancies, and any possible creations of new posts, are also to be brought to the attention of staff who have been posted abroad, whenever they concern journalists’ posts.

PROMOTIONS

Announcements of promotions and regular bonus attributions ["primes et promotions"], other than those which occur automatically, are to take place once a year, on March 1st. They are to be preceded by proposals submitted to management by heads of service at the end of the previous year.

Management’s intentions are to be brought to the attention of staff delegates as per staff category.

Notwithstanding the above, for special reasons such as the departure of a staff member or the reorganization of a given service, promotions or scheduled bonuses may be announced during the course of the year. In such cases, the same procedures shall be followed.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

Before any staff member is notified of disciplinary action, other than an oral or written warning (avertissement), management is to inform the delegates from the category to which the person concerned belongs.

SUPPRESSION OF POSTS

Delegates are to be informed by managment of plans to suppress posts.

RIGHT OF FINAL APPEAL

Staff members may exercise their right of final appeal before the committee set up by the governing board to that end, with the person concerned by his or her delegates and management also being represented. Management must be given advance notice of at least eight days, in writing.