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

28 November 2023 -  CERN Pension Fund Meeting 

The viewgraphs of the CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting on 22 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).

Please find the link for the online participation with Microsoft Teams below:

19 September 2023 - International Staff Association: General Assembly on 26 September

For those who wish to follow the General Staff Assembly on 26 September online, please use the links given below:

Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer, mobile app or room device
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 340 751 795 525
Passcode: MjngfR
Download Teams | Join on the web

Join with a video conferencing device (WebEx)
Video Conference ID: 129 409 565 0
Alternate VTC instructions

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.

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] 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 More information is available on

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

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 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.

09 December 2022 - Update of Retirees Email List

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

30 November 2022 – ESO 60th anniversary celebration on 9 December 2022

The following email below was sent by Nathalie Kastelyn (ESO/HR) to the ESO pensioners on 29 November.

Dear colleagues,

There will be an ESO 60th anniversary staff celebration on 9 December 2022 at the Garching HQ. The celebration will take place from approximately 16:00–18:00, following the all-hands meeting on that day.

We would like to invite retirees to this celebration, at which we will share a toast, followed by snacks and finger food. Please note that the event is being planned only for current staff and retirees, and that therefore we are unable to extend the invitation to spouses, partners, or other guests.

To help us better plan the catering, please could you indicate whether you plan to attend by the end of Wednesday 30 November 2022 on the registration form. Your response (whether yes or no) is not binding, but please give us your best estimate of whether you will come. We hope that you will be able to join us.

Best wishes,

29 November 2022 – GAC-EPA Bulletin 63

The latest bulletin of the GAC-EPA,  Bulletin 63, is now available.

29 November 2022 -  CERN Pension Fund Meeting 

The video recordings and the viewgraphs of the CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting on 23 November 2022  (see previous News item)  are now available on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

10 November 2022 - Opportunity in Garching for individual meetings with CERN PF Benefits Service members

The CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting will take place on 23 November 2022 at 15:00 CET / 11:00 CLST

Fiona Brazil, Head of Human Resources, will introduce the meeting, after which the Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board, Ossi Malmberg, and the Pension Fund CEO, Doug Heron, will provide an update of the Fund. They will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Two members of the CERN Pension Fund Benefits Service, Emilie Clerc and Pilar Herguedas Muñoz will be available as well to answer your questions. Staff members, fellows and retirees in Garching who would like to discuss any individual cases are invited to arrange a one-to-one meeting with Emilie or Pilar by contacting Nathalie Kastelyn in Human Resources for an appointment. Appointments (15-minutes slots) are available between 9:30 and 12:30.

The meeting will take place in the HQ Eridanus Auditorium with video links to the following meeting rooms:

  • Vitacura: Urania
  • Paranal: Residencia — Conference Room
  • La Silla: Lounge
  • Online: Please check the Documents and Presentations page for joining the meeting online.


04 November 2022 - ISA Newletter - Issue November 2022

The next issue of the ISA Newsletter (November 2022) is now available. In this issue you will find an outline of the two main strategic objectives of the ISC to be fulfilled by September 2023.

Also note that the ISC plans a special ISA assembly on Wednesday 16 November, 14:00 CET. This will be a hybrid event. Members are very welcome to attend in person at Eridanus or to join online with the link provided on the Documents and Presentations page (restricted access).

15 October 2022 - ESO's 60th Anniversary

This message from HR below was sent to the ESO pensioners on 14 October - a few days after the ESO GAC-EPA representative contacted the DG who had congratulated the active staff on the anniversary date itself by email.

Dear colleagues

Some of you might already have received the information by other means.

From small beginnings in the 1960s ESO has grown impressively and has now turned 60 years old.

In this update we would like to share with you the link to the DG’s message on the ESO website regarding ESO’s 60thanniversary, in which he recognizes, with grateful thanks,  the contribution of everyone past and present to the Organization today:

It goes almost without saying that all colleagues who have retired from ESO in their particular role, whether that is as scientist, engineer, technician or administrator can be fully proud of what has been delivered over this time as the DG comments. 

In this web announcement it is also highlighted why the anniversary has been more low key and some aspects necessarily postponed due to the on-going difficult and distressing case of the disappearance of a visiting scientist to La Silla, Professor Tom Marsh, from Warwick University in the UK, on 16 September.  We are continuing to help and support the local authorities with the search which is on-going. This has included all modern mechanisms such as the use of drones, planes and cameras, as well as the traditional foot search and with dogs.  A number of staff have been working hard on the interface with the police and Prosecutors office, national government officials, University and the family. We remain hopeful that Professor Marsh will be found.

Best wishes,
Fiona Brazil

15 October 2022 - Annual Meeting of the CERN Pension Fund at ESO

The CERN Pension Fund Annual Information Meeting will take place at ESO on 23 November 2022 at 15:00 CET / 11:00 CLST. More details will follow soon. 

16 September 2022 - Update of Retirees Address List

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