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Staffing situation in City of Luxembourg foyers scolaires


Waiting lists for places in City of Luxembourg foyers scolaires (childcare centres) are getting longer and longer each year. According to an explanation given to the municipal council, the reason for this is a lack of qualified staff. Apparently, the City's Service Foyers scolaires (Childcare Department) is having trouble finding qualified staff, while at the same time having to cope with staff resignations.

How have Service Foyers scolaires staff numbers evolved over the past two and five years? How many people have been hired, and how many have resigned? How many people have left the department, compared to other city departments within the same periods? What are the most frequently mentioned reasons for leaving? What were the rates of staff off sick? Which sections of the Service Foyers scolaires are hiring the most? Which sections are seeing the most resignations?

Does the Service Foyers scolaires have a mental health and social welfare unit that is available to its staff? Does it have a staff delegation and an equality officer? What is being done to maintain or improve quality of life in the workplace?

Does the Service Foyers scolaires publish activity reports on a regular basis?

How many people have been hired since it was announced to the municipal council that the number of working hours per week would increase from 35 to 38?


The question on the increase in working hours from 35 to 38 hours a week has already been discussed with the staff representatives, but the subject has not yet been raised with the college of aldermen.

The Service Foyers scolaires currently employs 230 childcare workers, whose average length of service is 10.3 years.

In 2022, the absentee rate was 10.9%.

The Service Foyers scolaires comprises three departments: the Centre opérationnel Foyers scolaires (Childcare Centres Operations Department), the Centre opérationnel CAPEL (CAPEL Operations Department) and the Administrative Department. Hires and resignations are administered by the Centre opérationnel Foyers scolaires.

Service Foyers scolaires staff have access to a range of support and coaching services, which include team supervision, coaching for managers and professional development training for staff. Brainstorming sessions are also organised. Quality control services are provided by the Service national de la Jeunesse (National Youth Service – SNJ).

In 2018, there were 69 hires and 23 resignations. In the following years, the figures were as follows: 2019: 44 hires / 26 resignations; 2020: 103 / 25; 2021: 56 / 22; 2022: 56 / 38. As at 13 March 2023, there were 15 hires and 5 resignations. The high number of hires in 2020 reflects the fact that additional staff was taken on in response to pandemic-related measures. When the overall headcount is considered, the average resignation rate is 5.5%.

The City of Luxembourg does not systematically conduct exit interviews. The statements made by certain individuals are not representative. Most of the people who resign have found a new job closer to their homes.

For support, staff members can seek assistance from the mental health support officer, two staff committees, two equality representatives appointed by the staff committees, and the equality officer (in the Human Resources Directorate).

Closure of school playgrounds in Bonnevoie


On the weekend of 22 and 23 April 2023, we were informed that the playgrounds at the schools in Rue Gellé and Rue Nic Martha were closed. As safe spaces for children from the Bonnevoie Sud district to play, these playgrounds are important, especially since there are no other playgrounds nearby. We have already drawn attention to the issue of closing school playgrounds outside school hours on several occasions.

What was the reason for closing the playground this time? Was the college of aldermen informed of the closure? How does the college of aldermen intend to remedy this situation – which occurs frequently in Bonnevoie – once and for all?

How does the City of Luxembourg organise the opening of school and City playgrounds? Is there a backup plan for opening and closing school playgrounds if the person in charge falls ill? What is role of elementary-school caretakers in situations like this?


We all agree that school playgrounds should remain open on weekends so that children who live in the district can play there. The gates to the playgrounds are opened and closed by staff from the Service Parking (Parking Department). The person who was working on Saturday, 22 April provided us with a written confirmation that they had opened the gates in the morning and closed them in the evening. On the other hand, the person who was working on the Sunday had failed to perform their duties diligently. Several gates were opened, but one of the two gates at the main entrance to the playground of the school in Rue Gellé was left closed – the person on duty had removed a chain but forgot to unlock the lock. The person in question was given a warning, and hopefully something like this won't happen again. On the question of the role of caretakers, the task of opening and closing the gates to school playgrounds is the sole responsibility of Service Parking personnel. In the case in question, a mistake was made, and this should not have happened.

Kirchberg elementary school playground


Due to ongoing works, the playground at the elementary school in Kiem has not yet been upgraded. Currently, the children can only use a macadam-covered area that is fenced off from the road. The area is devoid of other infrastructure, and there is nowhere to shelter from the sun and rain. Recently, several parents have taken to social media platforms to express their discontent and incomprehension regarding this situation.

What was the reason for this deplorable situation? Will the college of aldermen take steps to ensure that this playground is equipped – even temporarily – with the required infrastructure, in particular benches, planter boxes, a shelter against rain and the burning sun, playground elements, etc.? Could these additions be made soon, for instance before the start of the summer? When is the upgraded school playground expected to be delivered? When will the works be completed?


The project to erect a new building in Rue Anne Beffort provides for a complete overhaul of the school courtyard. Due to the scope of the works, they could not be completed during the school holidays. As such, a temporary solution was required.

The Service Parcs (Parks Department) had suggested installing most of the street furniture from the old playground in the temporary playground, but some of the teachers were not in favour of this proposal. One of the arguments they put forward was that installing football goalposts was not desirable, as there was a risk that the ball could go on to the road.

As there is a covered courtyard nearby – near the school building at 4, rue Anne Beffort – and because it was planned that the temporary playground would only be used for several months, an additional covered courtyard was not requested. Depending on how soon it can be delivered, some of the equipment can be installed quickly.

The new school playground is scheduled to be delivered in time for the start of the 2023–2024 school term.

Foot and cycle bridge connecting the Cents, Weimershof and Neudorf districts


Although this project has a long history, many people still have questions about it. We have seen several posts on social media suggesting that the bridge could finally be built. Having joined the municipal council in January 2023, I know that the anticipated cost of the project amounts to €24.1 million, but I would like to be able to respond to other questions being raised by residents.

Is it true that the cost of the project is expected to increase by 50%? Are all of the permits that must be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment (Ministère de l'Environnement) available? As the plans presented to the residents of the districts concerned are two and a half years old, would it be possible to view the latest plans? And what of the safety of the promontory and the soil in which the pillars will be anchored? Has a cost-benefits analysis been conducted? What will be the annual costs of maintaining the bridge? When are the works expected to begin?


Further to receiving the Ministry of the Environment's authorisation, the City announced that work to build the foot and cycle bridge over Neudorf would begin in the autumn of 2023.

At the time of the vote on the project in December 2021, the budget allocation amounted to €24 million. Can the City confirm that this amount will not be exceeded?

At the time of the vote, no traffic studies had been conducted to determine who would be using the bridge. Has a traffic study been conducted since December 2021? If so, what was the outcome of the study? Otherwise, are there plans to conduct such a study? What improvements are planned to build safe cycle lanes with the bridge?

Building the bridge will entail a considerable encroachment on the green areas that have developed naturally on either side of the site. Between 40 and 60 trees will probably have to be felled. Will the measures imposed by the Ministry of the Environment, to compensate for the destruction or deterioration of protected biotopes, habitats of community interest, and habitats of species of community interest whose species conservation status is assessed as unfavourable, apply in Luxembourg City? Where will they apply, and to what extent?


I thank Councillor Goergen and Councillor Foetz for their questions on the planned foot and cycle bridge.

Since December 2021, there have been several index adjustments and price increases as a result of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, which means that we can expect that the €24.1 million budget allocation announced in December 2021 will not be enough. To put an actual figure on how much the allocation would be exceeded by – which, of course, would be put to the municipal council for approval – we would have to wait for the outcome of the call for tenders, which will be published in the coming weeks.

The City is now in possession of all the required authorisations, including that of the Ministry of the Environment, which was received on 21 February 2023.

The plans are the same as two and a half years ago. Those who wish to view them can get in touch with the City's Police des bâtisses (Building Supervision Department). The public notice was published in December 2022.

A cost-benefits analysis has not been conducted, but the bridge would be very useful, and most of the municipal council were of the view that it would be a wise investment in active travel.

The annual cost of maintaining the bridge is estimated at €162,000.

Work is expected to begin in the autumn of 2023 (October/November).

2,802 m2 of forest will be felled. This equates to 133,037 Ecopoints, of which 104,804 points (corresponding to 2,616 m2) within the green area, 28,233 points (i.e., 186 m2) outside the green area.

69,461 Ecopoints – i.e. a little more than half – will be compensated for in situ, that is to say, on plots 559/3156, 556/2751, 559/3486, 559/3157, 609/846, 574/4269, 637/4369 and 559/2750 (section ED in Neudorf), by planting beech trees or by forest succession.

Furthermore, 18,873 Ecopoints will be compensated for by planting beech woods (Asperulo-Fagetum, type 9130) on a 699 m2 plot (582/5849) located in Hamm. As such, the entire forest that will be destroyed will be compensated for within Luxembourg City.

As the Ecopoint value of the newly created biotopes will be less than that of the existing biotopes, there will be a difference of 44,703 Ecopoints, which will be compensated for by the levying of a tax.

With regard to the studies that have already been carried out, please recall that in 2006 a German engineering firm had reported that, for some trips, many people would use bikes or walk if there were more direct routes. At the time, the engineering firm had proposed building a foot and cycle bridge over Neudorf. The National Roads Administration (Administration des Ponts et Chaussées) will create a link with the national cycle lane running through the Stadtgrund area. There will also be better connections with the Cents train station, Hamm and other city districts, as well as with neighbouring municipalities, such as Contern and Sandweiler. The option of using e-bikes is likely to encourage residents to use a bike instead of their car.


We had asked the former municipal council whether many people had expressed an interest in using planned bridge. We never received a concrete answer to the question. What's more, allow me to draw your attention to the fact that we are not against the building of this bridge. It's just that we did not have all the figures. We also note that both ends of the bridge are located in a no-man's-land.


Given that the population of Luxembourg City changes considerably every year, it would have made no sense to ask residents in 2006 whether they were interested in using a bridge in 2025. I'm sure everyone will agree that the elevator linking Pfaffenthal to Ville-Haute, and the funicular linking Pfaffenthal to Kirchberg, are a resounding success. These were political decisions that have proved to be the right ones. I myself am fully convinced that the bridge will be used by thousands of people.


With this bridge, we will be creating a link between two major residential districts – Cents and Neudorf – and Kirchberg, the city's largest business district. That in itself would be sufficient justification for this project. The claim that parts of the bridge would be in a no-man's-land is false. It is not the case on the Cents side or on the Weimershof side.

"Vel'OH !" bike sharing service


To mark the 15th anniversary of the "Vél'OH!" bike sharing service, the City had hosted a celebratory event and had announced that an initiative "to promote active travel and especially the use of bicycles in the city" would be launched.

While there is no doubt as to the usefulness and popularity of the bike sharing service, and especially the pedal-assist e-bikes, one cannot help but note that the condition and maintenance of the existing fleet often leaves much to be desired. On several occasions, users have complained to me of defective stations, poorly maintained bikes, and even the absence of stations in some city districts.

What is the college of aldermen's assessment of the condition of the bikes and stations at this time? Have the maintenance issues been resolved? If not, how does the college of aldermen intend to ensure that JCDecaux provides a first-rate service to users of the system? To avoid having "abandoned" bikes blocking pavements and other places, does the college of aldermen plan to compel JCDecaux to fit the bikes with a GPS system? When will the Vel'OH! network finally be extended to the districts in the northern part of the city – especially Dommeldange and Weimerskirch – and the Neudorf district? When will the bike-pump stations be equipped with pressure gauges so that cyclists can know whether their tyres are adequately inflated or over-inflated.


The condition of the bikes has improved considerably compared to the situation during the pandemic. At the time, many damaged bikes could be found across the city, spare parts were difficult to obtain, and JCDecaux did not comply with all the specification requirements. The City of Luxembourg sent JCDecaux a registered letter asking them to comply with the specifications.

Currently, the proportion of damaged or unreturned bikes is 3%, which is a considerable improvement. JCDecaux has also increased staff numbers in Luxembourg. In all, there are 10 staff: 4 workers have been assigned to the field maintenance team that repairs defective bikes and stations, and 6 mechanics carry out repairs at a workshop. In principle, every bike is inspected once a week, or at least once every 10 days. Every bike undergoes a full check-up once a year. Brakes are replaced at least every two years.

If the City had wanted the bikes to be fitted with a GPS system, that requirement should have been included in the specifications. JCDecaux has no plans to install such a system. On the other hand, to make using the bikes illegally more difficult, JCDecaux is currently reinforcing bike-attachment points at Vel'OH! stations, especially in areas with the highest rates of vandalism. Support from the Grand Ducal Police has also helped to reduce the number of cases of vandalism.

Regarding the districts in the northern part of the city, the new "Halanzy" station was opened in March 2023, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Vel'OH! system in Luxembourg City. More stations are planned. The opening of the station in Rue Nennig in Dommeldange will take some more time, as this is tied to the completion of a housing project. Other stations will be opened near the Henri Dunant Stadium (in autumn 2023) and near the scouts building in Rue Munchen-Tesch. In Neudorf, a Vel'OH! station will be opened in 2025, as part of the footbridge construction project.