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EU court sides with staff on raises

Nov. 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The European Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected an attempt by European Union member states to cut a salary increase for EU officials in half.

Raises for EU officials are calculated by determining average raises for public officials among eight member states from the previous year, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

That set up an increase of 3.7 percent for the year starting in July 2009 and ending June 2010.

Member states agreed to cut that in half in a December 2009 vote, as a 3.7 percent raise became increasingly out of line with individual nations that were passing austerity budgets, some of which included freezing or cutting salaries for public employees.

But the court said the December 2009 vote "exceeded the powers conferred on it by the EU staff regulations."

"We are satisfied with the court's decision. It is in line with the method of the annual adjustment for EU salaries which was agreed by member states until 2012," EU commission spokesman Michael Mann said.

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