Council questions OCHA decision to offshore jobs - against main recommendation of management study

As you may know, OCHA management has decided unilaterally to offshore administrative support posts from Geneva and New York to a third location. This decision will have an impact on staff in Geneva and New York, especially general service colleagues who cannot move with their posts. It is disappointing that OCHA management used the report (available here) to justify their decision, yet ignored its main, well-analysed conclusion, that administrative support should be consolidated in Geneva and New York and not offshored to a third location.

Further disappointing is the decision by OCHA management to circumvent legal consultation procedures by announcing a fait accompli. According to UN legislation, OCHA should have consulted with the UNOG Staff Coordinating Council, as the statutory representative of OCHA staff in Geneva, at a time when different options were being considered. The action is therefore legally questionable.

Furthermore, the justification used by OCHA, that the decision to move posts to the Global South was in support of the Secretary-General's Change Implementation Plan, is disingenuous. The Change Implementation Team was at no point made aware by OCHA management of the decision it was taking, and itself has stated that the issue of moving posts to the Global South still requires a lot of thinking.

The Council has requested further information from OCHA management and will convene a meeting of OCHA staff on Tuesday 9 October at 2.30 p.m. in Room I, before it formulates its formal response. It intends to work closely with the United Nations Staff Union in New York on this issue.