Judgment No. 2081
1. THE IMPUGNED DECISIONS ARE SET ASIDE.
2. THE CASE IS SENT BACK TO THE LABORATORY FOR NEW DECISIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH CONSIDERATIONS 8, 9 AND 10.
3. THE LABORATORY SHALL PAY THE COMPLAINANTS A TOTAL OF 4,000 EUROS IN COSTS.
4. THEIR OTHER CLAIMS ARE DISMISSED.
"The issue to be resolved [...] is whether the complainants are barred from objecting to the [organisation]'s failure to take into account the corrected level of salaries for 1995 in determining the salaries for 1996 and 1997, because they did not first challenge their salaries for 1996 and 1997 [... ] when they were originally fixed. But in view of the circumstances, to make such a demand on them would be pedantic and wanting in good faith. As the parties were aware at the time, the salary levels for 1995 were under challenge [...] Moreover, any change in salary levels will ordinarily affect pay in subsequent years. The staff therefore had good reason to believe that a change in pay for 1995 would have a "knock on" effect on the level of salaries used as a basis for calculating pay in the future. Moreover, the [organisation] could be in no doubt that this was what staff would expect. In these circumstances, and having given them no indication to the contrary, the [organisation] could not require staff to challenge each new determination of their salaries on the conditional and hypothetical basis that any successful challenge to the remuneration for a previous year (in this case 1995) should automatically be carried through to the salary levels taken into account in subsequent years."
receivability of the complaint; formal requirements; right of appeal; time bar; amount; general principle; good faith; amendment to the rules; legitimate expectation; salary; consequence; official
"Consistent precedent has it that an organisation is ordinarily free to determine the pay of its staff, provided that it respects certain requirements arising from general principles of international civil service law [...] Furthermore, if the organisation has a rule granting certain rights to staff members in relation to their level of salary, it may not depart from that rule in individual decisions without amending it in accordance with the prescribed procedure."
individual decision; organisation; formal requirements; amount; case law; general principle; international civil service principles; organisation's duties; staff regulations and rules; amendment to the rules; provision; salary; discretion; condition; right; official