Actions taken to counter proposed changes to P staff salaries & benefits
November 30, 2015
The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) has presented the General Assembly with a package of proposed changes to the Professional salary and benefits regime. Staff representatives presented our case against some of the proposed measures to member states in New York earlier this month and we await the final decision, which is likely to come by Christmas.
Our federation of UN staff, CCISUA, has spearheaded a campaign, Fairness for Frontline Workers, since early October, which highlights the package’s negative consequences for all staff, and most particularly those in the field. While in New York, we met with the Secretary-General and called on him to support the campaign. We presented him with a letteron your behalf. It listed our concerns and calls on the S-G to work with us on alternatives to the ICSC plans.
Both the Secretary-General and his Chef du Cabinet, Susanna Malcorra, were forthright in their comments, questioning many of the same aspects of the package as we. The Secretary-General told us he will ask member states to protect leave arrangements and to ensure continued support for widowed and single parents – who would lose the most if the ICSC plans go ahead. He also stressed the need for viable mobility allowances and rest & recuperation, which is essential to the health and well-being of staff, as well as to productivity.
With your support, we are asking member states to reject pay cuts for all staff. At a minimum, no existing staff member lose out. And we are not the only ones questioning the proposed changes. The UN's Medical Directors have issued a statementof concern questioning the package. Others, too, have issued statements of concern, including the UNHCR High Commissioner, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, and the Executive Officer of OCHA.
We asked the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee to agree with us and the UN management that the ICSC’s proposals are not fit for purpose. We want member states to give the ICSC more time to ensure the new compensation structure does not undermine our ability to deliver the UN’s mission for emergency aid, development and human rights. Hopefully the ICSC will be given another year to review the proposals and make the necessary changes to ensure that the Organization can fulfil its mandates in the years to come.
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