Annual report 2016
Employee Association Power (AVP)
The staff cuts and integration process determined the agenda. In the past year of 2016, many of our colleagues were informed that their jobs had been made redundant and they have to leave GE. For most of our colleagues, this was a hard blow - and particularly in a rather difficult labour market as many companies have cut back on staff during this period because the strong Swiss franc is still causing problems with competitiveness for Swiss businesses. Our foreign colleagues are to some extent even more strongly affected, particularly those who do not speak much German.
For Swiss circumstances, we have a very good severance scheme that goes some way towards mitigating cases of hardship and ensuring that the people affected are supported as well as possible.
Parallel to the reduction in staff, the integration process was also under way. Employees’ patience with this has frequently been tested. People were probably aware that this process would be a great challenge but the numerous IT problems have got on people’s nerves. Often added to this were the unclear organisational structures and responsibilities in various areas. Coupled with the flood of emails and new tools, now and again people reached their limits. To still get something positive out of this and motivate oneself was a challenge!
The economic environment is developing very hesitantly. It is still marked by uncertainty in many parts of the world. The energy area, which is the one so important for us, is not really making much headway. Due to the troublespots worldwide and the indecisiveness of politics about the direction in which energy production in the respective country should be developing, the projects that are actually there are being shelved. All this is creating price pressure in the new installations business as well as in services. As long as this continues, a marked improvement in the situation is not expected. As a consequence, that means that the pressure on our jobs will not decrease.
The year 2016 started like the previous year with the closing of accounts and the preparation for the General Meeting. Within a short time, the documents for auditing, as well as various other documents, had to be prepared so that the invitations to the General Meeting could be sent out in time. The General Meeting then took place as planned on 14 April 2016 in the Glassaal of the Trafo Baden. The items for discussion remained the same as before: the tense situation in the social partnership, the mass immigration initiative and the conversion of the members’ subscription collection from the netting to the no-netting principle. The agenda items were all worked through with no problems, the motions of the board of directors were approved, and the election of the two new auditors, Torsten Lüdecke and Stefano Bernero, went smoothly.
Due to the conflict which still exists between the social partners and the money from the solidarity and continuing education fund being blocked by this situation, we had to finance the popular continuing education courses of our umbrella association Angestellte Schweiz ourselves. We were able to do that thanks to the available financial resources. The booking rate for the courses confirmed our action.
The change to the members’ subscription collection frequently occupied the board. There were a lot of questions from members on this that had to be answered. This new and somewhat complicated process still has to bed in for the members.
The measures for staff reduction also had consequences for the board of directors of AVP. Frank Walter had to leave us during the year. Fortunately, he was able to take up another position in another company relatively quickly. Plus, we had to take note of the fact that Eva-Maria Zuber will also be leaving us. She is taking early retirement and is leaving the board on the occasion of the General Meeting.
The board of directors met for seven meetings, which always took place after work. In addition, for some board members, there were additional hours spent working during their free time, for example when they attended our umbrella association’s events.
As a little token of our thanks, a directors’ trip on a sailing ship took place on Lake Thun.
At year end, there was a Christmas dinner in the Casino Restaurant in Baden.
As the AVP President, I wish to thank all the board members and auditors for their work, commitment and support. In particular, a big thank you goes to the members who have remained faithful to us. With their membership, they make an important contribution to the social partnership!
Reporter: Andreas Vock, President of the Employee Association Power Baden, 15/1/2017