Judgment No. 2218
THE COMPLAINT IS DISMISSED.
"The Organization argues that the complainant submitted new "conclusions" to the Tribunal, compared to those he had put forward in his internal appeal [...]. In fact, the complainant's pleas, whether in the internal appeal or before the Tribunal, consist in challenging the decision taken regarding his grade and in obtaining a position in the normal salary scale at the level closest to the salary he had been receiving in the previous system. His request to be placed at a graded level within the new scale instead of one altogether outside the scale cannot properly be considered as going beyond the claims he had submitted in the internal appeals proceedings".
procedure before the tribunal; complaint; claim; new claim; decision; identical claims; complainant; receivability of the complaint; internal appeal; iloat; interpretation; salary; scale; request by a party
While the complaint is receivable, it is devoid of merit. Although the complainant objects to his new grading, he expressly admits in his rejoinder that he does not contest the fact that he was assimilated into the new career structure according to the applicable principles and procedures. It is the actual content of those principles and procedures that he objects to, particularly because their effect is to place staff holding indefinite contracts in a personal salary position outside the normal salary scale, without any real chance of promotion, which gives rise to a discriminatory situation in relation to other staff members.
The Tribunal notes in this respect that the complainant's acquired rights were not disregarded, since at position Fp0 he retains exactly the same salary as on the previous scale, as well as promotion rights within the new system. The defendant argues that, in any case, the complainant could not be classified in position Fc6 as he claims, since that would have granted him an automatic promotion, which is not allowed under the new rules. Promotion to salary band Fc would also have implied the granting of diplomatic privileges, and would first have required a competitive selection procedure. The Tribunal considers this defence to be pertinent and rejects the plea based on the discrimination the complainant allegedly suffered, considering that 90 members of staff are in the same situation and that being placed in a personal salary position when career structures are being reorganised cannot be regarded in itself as unlawful. The nub of the argument in fact lies elsewhere. The complainant mainly objects to the fact that the technical measures introduced by the defendant to reorganise its career structures hide the Organization's disdain for staff members approaching retirement, and, for the sake of a small budgetary saving, generate considerable disappointment amongst staff members who deserve better. This in fact challenges the way the Organization is managed and not the legal basis for its action, which alone is subject to review by the Tribunal.