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John Simkin

(A3) Staff Costs

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Staff costs refer to any payment made to a person attached to a member organisation of the partnership or working on a regular or recurrent basis for the project (regardless of his or her status). Staff costs must be broken down into categories 1 to 4 of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). A list of the occupations included in each of these ISCO categories is given in Appendix A.

Staff costs will be calculated on the basis of the actual daily salary/fees of the employee/service provider, multiplied by the number of days to be spent on the project. This calculation may include, if necessary, all the normal charges paid by the employer, such as social security contributions and related costs, but must exclude any bonus, incentive and profit-sharing arrangements or running costs. Staff costs may not exceed the normal costs for each staff category in the country concerned. In any case, the maximum amounts provided in the Appendix B apply unless explicit explanation of using higher rates is provided when submitting the application.

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Legal aspects of this staff costs issue are quite different in the diverse European countries. On top of that, there are very different regulations on civil servants and private workers. All of us should get informed about this issue, although the lead organisation must make a common model when filling out the application form.

When calculating staff costs in the different partner institutions, we should take into account the actual persons who are really working on the project. In my case, two teachers will be fully working on the project and this should be born in mind.

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We will surely be able to count with Richard's intelligent distribution and expertise in dealing with this aspect. I do not really know how he did it but dealing with spreadsheets can make it easier. I will, no doubt collaborate, should that be a possibility.

Do agree in any case with Juan Carlos with the complexity of the matter.

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Probably the best will be to try to stick EHelp budget, but introducing all the required changes.

A first move is that every institution informs about the number of colleagues involved full time in the project. Normally, it will be only one, but not always.

We have to be very frank when affirming that somedy is fully committed in the project.

We had teacher-travellers enough in the Virtual School.

:(

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We will surely be able to count with Richard's intelligent distribution and expertise in dealing with this aspect.

Sorry guys, I only just noticed these planning threads. I am more than happy to help where I can. I am sorry that the IST decided that we will be unable to participate. Of course I argued contrary to this but because I would not be the IST representative, there was little I could do.

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This seems to be the most difficult part of the application form to fill in. Andy and myself will need a lot of help on this.

Difficult but not the hardest. The detailed description and the workplan are most time consuming.

It all depends on how you want to manage the staff costs.

Do you want to pay by performance?

Do you want to adopt an egalitarian approach?

It is worth noting that e-Help staff costs in the application were guesstimates and that the real figures were adopted later. But the global figures of what you actually allocate to staff costs in reality should not change significantly from the budget that is approved by Comenius.

What ever you decide on staff costs agree to fix them for the duration of the project.

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Something else worth considering is how the grant is to be allocated. Will the coordinating institution be prepared to take on the complete financial management (like IST for e-Help) or are you going to delegate like most other projects?

Remember this is matched funding project. You are likely to get only 50-60% of your budget as a grant. How are the institutions to contribute the 40-50%? It is easiest if this comes from staff costs, ie your time. Therefore make sure that staff costs make up enough of your budget!

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Although probably is not the fairest way (institutions will get the same amount of money, even though their different perfomance), I put myself in John and Andy's shoes and I think that the egalitarian approach is the easiest to budget. Bearing in mind our salaries, calculate a number of days of work so that everybody get the same amount of money.

I would rather support a centralised financial management of the project. Delegation can lead to more burocracy and red tape.

Edited by Juan Carlos

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Remember this is matched funding project. You are likely to get only 50-60% of your budget as a grant. How are the institutions to contribute the 40-50%? It is easiest if this comes from staff costs, ie your time. Therefore make sure that staff costs make up enough of your budget!

The figures for the E-HELP project is:

Comenius Grant: 318,910 euros

Participating Institutions: 192,000 euros

Richard, I assume the main way that institutions contribute is by allowing members to attend meetings in their time.

Although probably is not the fairest way (institutions will get the same amount of money, even though their different perfomance), I put myself in John and Andy's shoes and I think that the egalitarian approach is the easiest to budget. Bearing in mind our salaries, calculate a number of days of work so that everybody get the same amount of money.

After my experience of E-HELP I am not so keen on this egalitarian approach. I think it would be better if members said at the very beginning how much time they have available for the project.

I would rather support a centralised financial management of the project. Delegation can lead to more burocracy and red tape.

I agree. Hopefully, Andy's head will be willing to accept this idea. My meeting with him has now been put back one day to next Wednesday morning.

I am a little concerned that only a minority of members have been involved in this debate so far.

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Although probably is not the fairest way (institutions will get the same amount of money, even though their different perfomance), I put myself in John and Andy's shoes and I think that the egalitarian approach is the easiest to budget. Bearing in mind our salaries, calculate a number of days of work so that everybody get the same amount of money.

I would rather support a centralised financial management of the project. Delegation can lead to more burocracy and red tape.

I have but to agree with Juan Carlos. In my view and from my experience it worked for E-HELP (for the short period I was an active member), it should work for Citizenship & ICT.

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I have but to agree with Juan Carlos. In my view and from my experience it worked for E-HELP (for the short period I was an active member), it should work for Citizenship & ICT.

Did it? My interpretation is that the system caused a great deal of resentment and bad feeling. Some people were clearly working a lot more than their allocated days and some a great deal less.

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I have but to agree with Juan Carlos. In my view and from my experience it worked for E-HELP (for the short period I was an active member), it should work for Citizenship & ICT.

Did it? My interpretation is that the system caused a great deal of resentment and bad feeling. Some people were clearly working a lot more than their allocated days and some a great deal less.

Maybe you're right, as your perspective encompasses a longer period of time. Should we suggest then, to provide products throughout the whole process, with pre-established deadlines? NO problem for that either.

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Did it? My interpretation is that the system caused a great deal of resentment and bad feeling. Some people were clearly working a lot more than their allocated days and some a great deal less.

The project has to based on trust. People can not do this for the money. I think that if you introduce performance based criteria you will really create the possibility of rensentment and bad feeling. You also have to create a political and legal mechanism to withhold payment and remove member institutions. Choose people to be in this project you respect and who won't let you down. If they do, too bad. The alternative is a bureaucratic headache.

The figures for the E-HELP project is:

Comenius Grant: 318,910 euros

Participating Institutions: 192,000 euros

e-Help was unusually successful. We get 60%, many get less. Institutions can contribute however you want them to contribute. Administatively, the easiest thing is to designate all the labour costs as the participating institutions contributions. If your labour costs are high enough they should be greater than the required contributions from participant institutions. This will allow you to make cash payments to the participant institutions. :huh: This what I was able to manipulate with e-Help. This leaves your grant to spend as you like.

Richard, I assume the main way that institutions contribute is by allowing members to attend meetings in their time.

Partly. This is staff costs in general. This is why you e-Helpers had to fill out 'time sheets'. Your institutions pay you for your time on the project and claim it back. In theory at least.

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