Sep 2011 29

The European Commission has asked its staff to work an extra half hour each day in order to save €1 billion – around £870 million – by 2020, but trade unions representing the EU’s 55,000 staff have not accepted this minor change. Extravagant salaries, generous holiday, gold plated pensions and free lunches; it’s a tough life, working for the European Union.

With the crisis in the eurozone, and the situation in Greece only likely to get worse, this is another slap in the face for hard-pressed taxpayers. The extra 30 minutes per day would increase their working week to 40 hours – still below the average British full time worker’s 41.5 hours. Even so, there is talk that EU workers could strike.

A letter from Equipe d’Union Syndicale, the European Parliament’s trade union, has rejected the idea. They complain that “the attractiveness of the European civil service would deteriorate”. Further proof that they don’t realise the EU gravy train needs to stop.

It is said often enough, but this is yet another example of civil servants in Brussels living in an entirely different world to the rest of us. They don’t understand that ordinary taxpayers simply cannot afford to continue funding cushy working practices they don’t enjoy themselves.

Darren has a BA in Politics from the University of Surrey. He joined the TPA as an intern before being promoted to Policy Analyst. Darren’s research focuses on council spending across English regions.



  • Mike

    free lunches? evidence for this?

    • http://www.taxpayersalliance.com The TaxPayers’ Alliance

      Mike – third link in the article.

      • Mike

        the Daily Mail, of course the best and most credible source of balanced views on the EU. Having known people who worked there, I can assure you lunches are NOT free. It does the TPA a disservice just to parrot the line in the Daily Mail.

        • Orac54

          The point of the article wasn’t the free lunches – it was the refusal of the Equipe d’Union Syndicale to accept an increase in working hours by half an hour a day. In the current climate, those being paid out of the public purse could scarcely complain about having their working hours brought into line with the private sector. Or could they?

          • Blarg1987

            It would be interesting to know if after things stabalise will the working hour be reduced again?

            Or will the private secotr increase it average working hour week on top again.

            Yes money needs to be saved etc, but at the same time, we have to be careful that certain interest groups do not use this as an excuse to decrease employment conditions.

            I do hope and excpect that the priavte and public sector WILL restore opay and conditions of staff after profits and economic stability return to pre crash levels.

            I hope the TPA will support such an endevour also :)

  • Paulsobrien

    Oh no, an extra half hour a day to think up loony, unnecessary and expensive schemes. 

  • DaveFahey

    The quicker we quit this awful “organisation” the better.

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