News Items and Newsletters

GAC-EPA Bulletin

The 6-monthly Bulletins report on the activities of the Committee of the Groupement des Anciens du CERN — ESO Pensioners' Association" (GAC-EPA) and on the CERN and ESO committees in which the GAC-EPA can be found HERE


19 June 2024 - ISA Summer Party on 28 June 

As already announced by Erik Allaert in the email from June 2, the ISA summer party at the HQ will take place on Friday 28 June, starting at 16:30. Tickets for ESO pensioners cost 20 €/person. There is no online ticket sales - contact Nelma Silva (phone 3006286 - E.4.05) or Mylène Francois (phone 3006350 - B.2.20) for tickets.

12 June 2024 - Some News from the Webmaster

Due to more strict IT security measures in response to a cyber security incident roughtly a month ago,  it is currently slightly difficult to update this news page without being at ESO physically. News will therefore reach you via email until regular connection (VPN) and Web authoring tools become available again.

In the mean time, the Office for Science is still working on making the Astronomy for non-Astronomers (AfnA) talks available. The work is slightly delayed but I still hope that we have the talks available by the end of the month. 

8 May 2024 - Problem with Newcomers Registration Form solved

The problem with the Newcomers Registration form is solved. After registration you should see the confirmation page and you should receive an email with the registration details. In case you don't received the confirmation email please contact the ESO GAC-EPA representative.

22 April 2024 - Update of Retirees Email List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

15 April 2024 - Problem with Newcomers Registration Form

It appears that the Newcomers Registration form is not properly working. Despite correctly displaying the confirmation page after submitting the registration details are not forwarded. The problem is being investigated und will hopefully be resolved soon. 

23 February 2024 - Update of Retirees Email List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

06 Februrary 2024 - ESO Pensioners New Year's gathering

The photos of the New Year's gathering on 6 February in restaurant "Via Roma" are now available. A big thanks to the photographers for their contributions. 

28 January 2024 - ESO Pensioners New Year's get-together on 6 Febrary

The most popular date for our New Year's get-together is Tuesday 6 February. The reservation is in the meantime confirmed, i.e. we will have our get-together on Tuesday 6 February 2024, at 15:00 in the Pizzeria Via Roma, Parkring 4, Garching-Hochbrück

As before, this annual meeting is sponsored for ESO Retirees by the GAC-EPA. And partners are also welcome.
We hope to see as many of you as possible in 10 days from now!

Kind regards -
Erik

23 January 2024 - International Staff Association, General Assembly

The ISA will hold a General Assembly on Tuesday 30 January at 10:00 CLST/14:00 CET. Please find below the agenda for our next General Assembly. To particate online please use the link provided on the Documents and Presentations page.

  • CERN Pension Fund
  • Cigna health care
  • STAC summary:
    • Research Period for faculty astronomers
    • ESO values Rewards & Recognition scheme
  • Summary of the 'step freeze' and 'delta advancement' situations
  • ISC Priorities for 2024:
    • Up-coming regular review
    • Gender pay gap
    • Work exchange scheme & Part time wor
  • ISA finances
  • Social activities

18 January 2024 - Amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the CERN Pension Fund effective 1 February 2024 and 1 July 2024

Please note that in December 2023, the CERN Council approved amendments to the Pension Fund Rules and Regulations that come into effect on the following dates:

  • 1 February 2024: purchase of added periods of membership (Rules Article II 1.02, Regulations Chapter III)
  • 1 July 2024: anticipated retirement (Rules Article II 2.05)

These amendments are considered technical changes. The CEO of the Pension Fund, Mr Doug Heron, will provide an online presentation of the amendments on 26th January 2024 at 14h Garching / 10h Chile. Please use the link provided on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

Please note that the presentation will be recorded and made available after the meeting. For technical reasons the participation is limited to 300 attendees. Those who may not be able to join, will therefore be able to watch the video afterwards.

The updated Rules and Regulations will be available shortly on the Pension Fund’s website: https://pensionfund.cern.ch/en

18 January 2024: Save the Date - HQ Open House Day on 3 October 2024 - Update

From Susana Almagro

Dear ESO Pensioners,

This year the Open House Day, a campus-wide public outreach event, will take place on Thursday, 3 October 2024. This is the first open house event organised on the Garching Forschungscampus since the pandemic. The last event took place in 2018 and 5200 visitors seized the opportunity to explore ESO and enjoy the numerous activities provided by ESO staff.

As in previous years, ESO is planning to open the ESO Supernova and our headquarters to the public on 3 October 2024. Like at previous open house events, we are hoping to organise a range of fun and informative activities for visitors of all ages. For this we will need volunteers to support the Department of Communication and the ESO Supernova team during the event.

A call for activity proposals and for volunteers is planned to be issued in February, but for the time being those interested in participating are kindly asked to mark 3 October 2024 in their calendars. Note that 3 October is a public holiday in Germany. 

With best regards,

Susana
Open House Day Coordinator

04 January 2024 – Viewgraphs for the ESO General Assembly 11 December 2023

The viewgraphs of the latest ESO General Assembly on 11 December 2023 have been added to the Documentation page.

04 January 2024 - Update of Retirees Email List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

01 December 2023 - Update of Retirees Email List

The Retirees Email Addresses listing has been updated with the latest information.

01 December 2023 - Health insurance certificate for the Deutsche Rentenversicherung

If you receive pension from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, you will be asked to fill out a certificate regarding your health insurance during pension. If your spouse receive pension from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, the same will apply to them. You can find the Form R0821 in the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

28 November 2023 -  CERN Pension Fund Meeting 

The viewgraphs of the CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting on 28 November 2023 (see previous News item) are now available on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

21 November 2023 - Slides Cigna Presention on 24 October

The slides of the Cigna presention at ESO on 24 October are now available and can be found in the Documentation and Presentation page.

31 October 2023 - CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting: 22 November 2023

All infomation about this upcoming meeting, including the link to join the meeting online, can be found on Documents and Presentions page.

Save this Date: 22 November 2023

Please be informed that the CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting at ESO will be held on 22 November in Eridanus at 15:00. The link to follow this meeting on-line will be published as soon as it becomes available.

08 October 2023 -– Cigna Presentation at ESO Garching on 24 October 2023

From HR - Nathalie Kastelyn (with minor modifications)

We are pleased to inform you that Cigna will give a presentation at ESO Garching on 24 October 2023. For more details please see this document (restricted access) available in the Document and Presentation page. For those of you who wish to attend online, please use the link on the Documents and Presentions page

26 September 2023 – Letter to the ESO Council President and the ESO Director General

For your information, under Documents and Presentations (password protected) please find the letter (dd. 30 July 2023) that was sent by the International Staff Committee to the ESO Council President and the ESO Director General.

26 September 2023 – Letter to the ESO Council President and the ESO Director General

For your information, under Documents and Presentations (password protected) please find the letter (dd. 30 July 2023) that was sent by the International Staff Committee to the ESO Council President and the ESO Director General.

19 September 2023 - ESO celebrates the 10th anniversary ALMA's inauguration - Update

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the world’s largest radio telescope.

Over the past decade, ALMA, an international partnership between ESO, NAOJ and NRAO, has revolutionised our view of the Universe from the solar system to the most distant galaxies. ALMA’s ground-breaking engineering and operations concepts have enabled iconic images that reached worldwide attention, such as that of the planet-forming disc around the star HL Tau or the first image of the shadow of a black hole.

On the 29th of September 2023 at 15:00 CEST (Eridanus)/10:00 CLT (Urania) and online we'll celebrate this event with ESO staff. After the presentations we will go on to toast for the past and future ALMA successes with drinks and fingerfood. Everybody at ESO is invited to join the celebration.

Although this invitation only mentions "ESO staff", the ESO retirees are also welcome (verified by Rein).

31 August 2023 - International Staff Association: General Assembly on 26 September

From Tania Johnson (with minor modifications)

We hope you can join us for this next General Assembly of the ISA, on Tuesday 26 September, 14:00-16:00 (09:00-11:00 in Chile). The meeting will take place in hybrid format. If you wish to attend in person, please come along to Eridanus in Garching, or Urania in Vitacura. Information for joining virtually can be found below.

Topics on the agenda so far are:

  • Introducing your new ISCs
  • Update on CERN Pension Fund
  • Update on ESO Health Insurance Scheme (CIGNA)

There will be more topics added. If you have any topics you would like us to address, please tell us these by Friday 15 September, to give us ample time to prepare.

Please note that we will not be giving any updates on on-going appeals, since these are confidential.

We hope you can join us.

Best wishes
Tania Johnston, on behalf of ISCE and ISCC

04 July 2023 - Viewgraphs for the ESO General Assembly June 12

The viewgraphs of the latest ESO General Assembly on 12 June 2022 have been added to the Documentation page.

26 June 2023 - Save the date for the Year-End Events in Chile and Germany

In the recent Internal News the Director Geneal has announced that the Year-End events for the staff in Garching will take place on either Saturday 9 or 16 December and at Vitacura on 25 November. As on previous occasions, ESO Members of Personnel may also invite a partner or other companion as a guest.

In the news item he mentioned that he had decided the change in Garching from the original idea after listening to and discussing with colleagues in Garching about the pros and cons of having an open-air event in the summer, versus an indoor celebration towards the end of the year. Since pandemic restrictions seem unlikely in 2023, an indoor event in December, partly standing partly seated, appears to offer the most inclusive compromise to the variety of wishes. It also avoids clashing with the Summer Party, which he is happy to see organised once more by the International Staff Association.

Further details including the forms for registration, and date and venue in Germany, will be announced in due course.

26 June 2023 - Pensioners' Day - Presentations

The presentations given by the DG, Roberto Tamai, Mariya Lyubenova, Andreas Glindemann, and Erik Allaert at the Pensioners' Day on 14 June 2023 are now available. The presentations are available in Power Point format (PPTX) and Portable Document Format (PDF).

26 June 2023 - ESO Personnel Deparrtment - Pensioners' Day

From Evelina Dietmann, ESO Personnel Department (with minor modifications)

On 14th June the first dedicated ‘’Pensioners’ Day’’ (open to all ESO’s retirees drawing their pension) was held in the Eridanus Auditorium, with the participation of around 40 former colleagues both in person and remotely from Chile, the DG, Directors of Administration, Engineering and Science and staff from HR. The day started with a nice buffet lunch in the Eridanus Foyer and continued with presentations by the DG, Roberto Tamai, Mariya Lyubenova, Andreas Glindemann, and Erik Allaert. 

The day gave everyone the chance to reconnect with one another, and with friends and colleagues still working at ESO, after the restrictions of the last couple of years. There was helpful feedback and questions on the day – attendees thought it was great to be able to get up to date information about progress on the ELT and in our science, as well as generally, and to hear from GAC-EPA and the ISC. All agreed that the event should become a regular occurrence at ESO to reinforce connections, provide information, as well as celebrate the contributions of former staff. 

Angelos Tsaousis from Communications took the group photos at the coffee break to remember the event. You can see one of them below.

As announced during that day, the Personnel Department has prepared a brief survey to complete, which focuses on life as a retiree. Please click on the link below to view and complete it.

https://forms.office.com/e/RtWGEinPKq

We would like to use the results of this survey as a basis for a seminar for future ESO retirees, in order to prepare them as best they can for the next phase of their lives. Also, in the survey you will find 3 questions about the Pensioners’ Day held on 14th June. We would like to know if there is anything we can do to improve for future editions of the event, so that we can offer our retirees the best possible experience.

We would be very grateful if you could complete the survey by 15th July. 
Your help and support are very much appreciated!

Please, let Evelina (evelina.dietmann[at]eso.org) know if you have any questions or doubts.

13 June 2023 - ESO ISA Summer Party - Online Ticket sale not available

Contrary to the previous annoucnement (see below) the possibility to purchase tickets online seems not available. Hence, the only way to purchase tickets is with cash money from Nelma Silva (E.4.05) or Mylène Francois (B.2.20).

When buying your ticket(s), please indicate if you require a vegan (vegetarian) meal. The ticket price for ESO retirees is 20€/person. The deadline for booking your tickets at the above prices is Friday 16 June. Any tickets purchased after this date will incur an extra 5€ charge, per ticket.

26 May 2023 - ESO Garching ISA Summer Party, Friday  30 June

This year's ESO Garching International Staff Association Summer Party will be held on Friday 30 June around the entrance to the new building, or inside (new cafeteria) depending on the weather.

The theme for this year is ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. There will be prizes for the best dressed child, grown-up and family group. Everybody is invited; ISMs, PAs, UPAs, Fellows, Students, retirees, contractors and family members (see below for ticket prices). The more the merrier!

The Programme:

16:30 - Start – Welcome cocktails and snacks
19:15 - Dinner for adults
20:00 onwards - Music and dancing

Tickets: For the first time, the will be selling tickets online via Eventbrite and PayPal. If you do not have / do not wish to use PayPal, you can also purchases tickets with cash from Nelma Silva (E.4.05) or Mylène Francois (B.2.20). 

The online sale will start soon. This announcement will be updated with the relevant link soon. When buying your ticket, please indicate if you require a vegan (vegetarian) meal. The ticket price for ESO retirees is 20€/person. The deadline for booking your tickets at the above prices is Friday 16 June. Any tickets purchased after this date will incur an extra 5€ charge, per ticket.

19 May 2023 - Change of Distribution Policies for the ESO Messenger and the Annual Report 

The Messenger will no longer be distributed in paper form, but only in electronic form (PDF).  If you wish to receive the new issues directly into your inbox, you can subscribe via the new website https://messenger.eso.org. More information is available on http://eso.org/sci/publications/announcements/sciann17577.html

The pensioners registered to get the ESO Annual Report will get the hardcopy version as usual. Originally, ESO has introduced a category of "entitled only to PDF" for this report, and had put the retirees by mistake in that category. This mistake has been corrected. The shipment of the 2022 Annual Report should commence in a few weeks.

10 May 2023 - ESO Pensioners' Event on 14 June 2023

From Erik Allaert: For my presentation in this event I will explain some of the workings of GAC-EPA, but if any of you have a specific topic in mind that you'd like me to address, I can try to fit it in - just let me know before the end of May. Note that this is assumed to be an informal event, and all presentation should leave enough time to ask questions, so don't be shy to raise your questions and suggestions during/after each session or during the breaks. That includes of course your opinion about this or similar initiatives.

Hope to see many of you there!

10 May 2023 - Staff Assembly held on 29 March 2023

The slides of the International Staff Association General Assembly, held on 29th March 2023, are now available in the Documents and Presentations page.

09 May 2023 – GAC-EPA Revision of Rules. 

The item here below is about a vote for an update of the GAC-EPA statutes, and is therefore for current GAC-EPA members only.

On March 28, 2023 took place an Extraordinary General Meeting dedicated to the revision of the Rules of our Group. In accordance with our Rules, any revision of the Rules requires a written vote of the members of the Group.

The link to the minutes of the Meeting, including also the ballot paper and the procedure to follow for voting, has been forwarded to you by email recently. In that e-mail you have also received the link to the full text of the revised Rules, a presentation of the main proposed revisions and a video of the meeting.

The votes will be counted on June 15, 2023.

Note that this update of the statutes include a provision formally allowing also ESO pensioners who are not CERN PF beneficiaries to become GAC-EPA members. Although the GAC-EPA committee permitted this already since some time, these new statutes - if approved - will make this practice official. This means that then also formally no ESO pensioner will be a priori excluded from participating to the democratic election process of the ESO GAC-EPA representative.

5 March 2023 - ESO pensioners' event 14th June 2023

The following email was sent out by ESO's Human Resources Department on 3 March.

Dear colleague

This message is sent to you as a former active staff member of ESO now drawing their pension or a spouse in receipt of a pension.

We are pleased to tell you that ESO will be holding an afternoon event on Wednesday 14th June 2023 for ESO pensioners to which you are warmly invited. Please ‘save the date’ !
This will be an ‘in person’ event at Garching HQ, and also the possibility to connect to presentations remotely electronically for those based overseas.

The exact programme and times will be sent later on with a request at that point for you to RSVP, but to say for certain now, that it will include a presentation from the Director General, time to chat and catch-up with old friends,  and a group photograph.

We are discussing with the International staff Association and GAC-EPA about the full agenda which will be sent to you nearer the time.

We do hope that you will be able to join us, and meanwhile ask you to mark your calendar.

Best wishes
Fiona Brazil
Head of HR
ESO

3 March 2023 - ISA Newsletter February 2023

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (issue February 2023) is now available.

22 Februrary 2023 - New Year's gathering

The photos of the New Year gathering on 14  February in restaurant "Made in Italy" are now available. A big thanks to the photographers for their contributions. 

31 January 2023 - ISA Newsletter January 2023

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (issue January 2023) is now available.