In June 2009, the UN abolished permanent contracts and replaced them with the inferior continuing contracts. The UN reviewed all eligible staff (those under the age of 53 with five years continuous service on fixed-term appointment as of 30 June 2009) to determine their rights to a permanent contract.
All of the 448 eligible ICTY staff members were denied conversion due to “operational realities of the organisation, particularly the downsizing of ICTY”. In December 2011, a group of ICTY staff members supported by the Staff Union began the process of challenging the ASG/OHRM decision through the UN Office of Administration of Justice. The litigants were successful before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal which found that the staff members suffered discrimination and awarded moral damages. The ASG/OHRM was ordered to conduct a new, retroactive conversion exercise. As the ASG/OHRM continued her discriminatory policies during this second exercise, hundreds of staff members supported by the Staff Union are before the UNDT yet again.
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