Sophia: mass redundancy procedures at the SAEM

Posté mer 16/08/2000 - 00:00
Par admin

11 out of 23 employees may be made redundant at the SAEM (a firm which manages the technopole). It is a new stage in a crisis begun in November 1998.

A mass redundancy procedure was engaged on August 4th at the SAEM Sophia Antipolis. The procedure may make redundant 11 employees out of 23 of the SAEM, a firm created in 1998 to ensure the management of the technopole. It is actually a new stage in the crisis which began in November 1998.A European Directive is at the origin of the crisisThe origins of the problem which is now shaking an essential structure for the technopole are in Brussels. A European Directive has obliged some activities of the SAEM to be organized as a competition and put in invitations to tender. It deals about general interest missions (economic studies, communication, firms help…) which represents about half of the activities if the SAEM.The Regional Council which pilots the SAEM (the CCI holds 49% of the capital) could find a solution, according to what the leading people said. During the year 1999, it had been planned to cut the firm into two entities: the activities which were not concerned by the Directive would have remained to the SAEM and the others would have been managed by the Symisa. A dozen of employees of the SAEM who were in charge of economic studies, of communication and of the service for foreigners would have constituted the operational management of the Symisa.Perspective of a city communityA solution impossible to realize. A first technical problem appeared: the employees concerned had a permanent contract with a private right firm and they had to change their contracts into fixed-term contracts (3 years) with a public right firm. So they had to resign in order to be taken on again by the other part of the firm, what the majority of employees did not accept. Thus the new structure for 2000 did not appear.And the story became harder and harder to resolve because the city community that should have been operational from the municipal elections, will have according to the Chevènement law the whole economical power. The Symisa will then disappear too in 2002. Anyway the new structure was not viable. The SAEM tried to diversify its activities by proposing the management of the CICA but it was a failure.A budget cut by a halfThe decrease of its activities had above all budget consequences. During the first three months of the year the Symisa had voted the year budget: 6 million francs for the activities non-concerned by the Directive, a budget that had been cut by a half compared with the year before. On the other hand, a 4.5 million franc budget had been voted for the activities concerned by the invitation to tender, a budget the SAEM would not touch. And the SAEM having kept the entire number of its employees would be in difficulties and in liquidation in November or December 2000.Last June, the prefecture ordered two audits: one at TPG (paymaster) and the other at the CCI (chamber of commerce). It is the TPG audit which lead the prefect to authorize the procedure of mass redundancyThe staff wondersThe SAEM staff whose a great number of them is in vacation does not want to stop here. The staff wonders why. 'Why before proceeding to redundancies, invitations to tender have not been made that the SAEM could have won? How to justify redundancies whereas the first European technopole has never been in good health, whereas plots can be sold easily, whereas the Symisa has never been so rich than today? Is it really necessary to lay-off while no solution has been found to ensure what we are doing, which means to manage and to liven up the park?'

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