Syndicat SUD-AFP (Union syndicale SUD Culture & Médias Solidaires)

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Workplace equality: an unambitious agreement

Tuesday 6 March 2018

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SUD, like several other trade unions at AFP, signed a new company agreement on equal opportunities and quality of life in the workplace1. Here are the main points:

Parental leave

AFP agreed to pay fathers who take parental leave (maximum 11 consecutive calendar days) following the birth or adoption of a child. Previously, it was unpaid or people were encouraged to take "RTT" days off or holiday. This is undoubtedly an added benefit, even if a small one, that will favor a better balance within families.

Positive discrimination

The accord states that: “If inexplicable gaps in wages are observed, the signatories agree that women may be overrepresented (by number and amount) in bonus and promotion rounds.” Given that management refuses to improve automatic career plans — the most effective mechanism to ensure all employees are treated equally — this measure could in theory prove useful. In practice it is as empty as the envelope dedicated to bonuses and promotions last year — €0!

Assisted part time

The accord renews this program which permits certain seniors to work less in their final three years, with the drop in pay cushioned, such as working at 80% of full time while receiving 90% of their salary. However experience has shown that this program — which we supported — contains traps and employees need to be fully informed before signing up. If you are interested in this program, feel free to contact us.

Quality of life

The accord contains a long section on the “right to disconnect” with “recommendations” made to employees. It is good to call attention to this right as well as the necessity of finding a proper work-life balance. But this verges on demagoguery given the brutal reductions in time off imposed under the Grand Accord and non-replacement of staff forcing the rest of us to work more intensively for longer hours.

A better deal only possible with your support

SUD-AFP, March 6, 2018