Koleżanki i Koledzy,
akcja strajkowa tłumaczy w Parlamencie Europejskim trwa (więcej informacji znajdziecie w starszych wątkach). Administracja PE nadal próbuje jednak przełamywać solidarność środowiska, rekrutując „na wolnym rynku” przez platformy RSI.
Przekazujemy Wam informacje, którymi dzielą się z nami przedstawiciele zespołu negocjacyjnego:
The European Union is one of the main employers in the world for freelance interpreters. Contracts are ruled by an Agreement concluded between AIIC (the International Association of Conference Interpreters) and the European institutions. This Agreement is a cornerstone of our profession. It regulates, among other things, rates, working conditions, social benefits, and guarantees a number of principles such as equal pay for equal work, direct recruitment, training etc.
Earlier this year, a labour dispute erupted at the European Parliament regarding the working conditions applicable to remote interpreting. Faced with increasing health concerns caused by prolonged exposure to inadequate sound, interpreters have stopped interpreting remote speakers, bar in exceptional cases.
Against this background, the European Parliament has recently started to outsource some statutory meetings. Such a move is in breach of applicable texts (the Code of Conduct on Multilingualism at the EP, the EU staff regulation and, of course, the EU-AIIC Collective Agreement). It is also a violation of workers’ rights (the aim is to “break” the strike). It ultimately undermines the efforts of the interpreters’ representatives to negotiate working conditions for hybrid meetings. The terms negotiated with large employers are often benchmarks for the entire market.
As professionals, you are likely to be approached by one or several platforms to provide interpreting services. It is important that you take an informed decision.
In such cases, it is important to bear in mind that for the following meetings DG LINC (the directorate in charge of interpreting at the EP) should recruit you directly. Direct recruitment means that you enjoy all the benefits and guarantees enshrined in the Collective Agreement:
(a) plenary sittings;
(b) priority political meetings, such as meetings of the President, Parliament’s governing bodies (as defined in Title I, Chapter III of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure) and working groups thereof and the Conciliation Committees;
(c) (i) the parliamentary committees, parliamentary delegations, trilogues and related
shadows’ meetings: during committee periods, parliamentary committees, delegations and trilogues shall take priority over all other users, except those referred to in point (a) and (b),
(ii) the political groups: during part-sessions and group periods, political groups shall take priority over all other users, except those referred to in points (a) and (b);
(d) joint meetings of the European Parliament and EU national parliaments;
(e) press conferences, institutional media information actions, including seminars; other institutional communication events;
(f) other official bodies authorised by the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents;
(g) some administrative events for which interpretation has been authorised by the
Contract law provides that recruiters should provide information regarding the client and the concrete meeting you would be working in. If they withhold such information, it is quite possible that it is a meeting for which the EP should be recruiting you directly, or that they have no intention of hiring you but are very interested in your CV or credentials to be able to claim that they work with professional and/or accredited interpreters.
Our recommendation is that you insist on being informed about the meeting and the client. By doing so, you will make sure that you are not unwillingly recruited to break the industrial action that colleagues are conducting in order to guarantee safe working conditions for all. And you will avoid turning down bona fide offers.
You may also want to ask for email confirmation that the meeting covered by the contract is not one of the meetings listed above. So, if it turns out you’ve been misled, you will have proof black on white.
Finally, though the Collective Agreement applies at the Committees of the Regions and at the Economic and Social Committee when the interpreting services at the Commission or the EP provide the teams, sometimes they don’t have enough interpreters so it happens that the Committees go through external providers.
Such offers are not in principle undermining our industrial action.
In view of the fact that not all ACIs have signed up for our mailing list and furthermore, platforms have now hired non-accredited interpreters to work in stator EP meetings, we would appreciate if you could circulate this guidance note to the broader interpreting community, including non-accredited colleagues.
Take care and stay healthy