PRESS RELEASE

ECB labour relationships and the social dialogue with regard to the ESCB

5 October 2000

In view of the statements recently made by the European trade union federations concerning labour relationships at the European Central Bank (ECB) and the case brought by two trade unions against the ECB before the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the ECB would like to clarify the following matters with regard to ECB staff representation:

  • By virtue of the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Statute of the ESCB, the ECB has the power to define its staff policy autonomously. This autonomy forms part of the statutory independence of the ECB as guaranteed by Article 108 (ex Article 107) of the Treaty.

  • The Conditions of Employment for staff of the European Central Bank are determined by the Governing Council of the ECB. They form an integral part of the individual contracts of employment concluded by the ECB with its staff members. The Conditions of Employment are comparable with those at other European institutions and similar international organisations.

  • The ECB, acting within the scope of its power to define its staff policy, has created appropriate structures for staff representation. In accordance with the Conditions of Employment, staff representation is organised through a Staff Committee comprising representatives elected by secret ballot.

  • At their own initiative, members of staff have created an in-house trade union, the Union of the Staff of the European Central Bank (USE). On a voluntary basis, the ECB has established an institutional dialogue at the highest management level with the USE on all staff issues.

The ECB fully respects and supports the freedom of trade union association and does not impede the activities of trade unions. It therefore looks forward to the outcome of the case which the USE and the International and European Public Services Organisation (IPSO) have brought against the ECB before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

Again on a voluntary basis, the ECB has established a Social Dialogue with regard to the ESCB with the European trade union federations representing employees at the ESCB central banks (UNI-Europe (formerly Eurofiet), the Standing Committee of the Unions of central bank staff and EPSU). The Social Dialogue ensures that staff representatives from all 15 EU national central banks and from the ECB can express their views before the decision-making bodies of the ECB take decisions with a major impact on the quantitative and qualitative employment situation within the ESCB. Employment and working conditions at the ECB and at the national central banks do not fall within the scope of that Social Dialogue.

More detailed information on the ECB's labour relationships and the Social Dialogue with regard to the ESCB is available on the ECB's website.

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