News

Thank you for taking part in the strike - Recap and next steps | Merci d'avoir pris part à la grève - Résumé et prochaines étapes

Thank you for taking part in Friday’s strike. It certainly had an important effect and was widely reported:

  ·     Agence France Presse (and carried by many media): UN Geneva staff agree to full-day strike over pay cuts  https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/un-geneva-staff-agree-full-day-strike-over-pay-cuts-doc-12l46z1 

·     Associated Press (and carried by many media): UN staff in Geneva to strike over pay, austerity measures  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/un-staff-in-geneva-to-strike-over-pay-austerity-measures/2018/03/15/c97de500-289d-11e8-a227-fd2b009466bc_story.html?utm_term=.ef946cad70aa 
·     Reuters (and carried by many media): U.N. staff in Geneva set to strike in protest at pay cut  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-strike/u-n-staff-in-geneva-set-to-strike-in-protest-at-pay-cut-idUSKCN1GR2VQ 
·     Tribune de Geneve: Un mouvement de grève inédit a paralysé l’ONU  https://www.tdg.ch/geneve/geneve-internationale/mouvement-greve-inedit-paralyse-onu/story/23274528 
·     ATS (and carried by many media): Un appel à la grève pourrait perturber le travail de l'ONU mardi à Genève  https://www.rts.ch/info/regions/geneve/9364131-un-appel-a-la-greve-pourrait-perturber-le-travail-de-l-onu-mardi-a-geneve.html 
·     SRF: Genfer UNO-Personal im Streik  https://www.srf.ch/news/international/lohnkuerzung-trifft-tausende-genfer-uno-personal-im-streik 
·     Swissinfo: UN Geneva staff step up strike action over pay cut  https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/pay-and-work-conditions_un-geneva-staff-step-up-strike-action-over-pay-cut/43976016 

·     Lémanbleu: ONU, les fonctionnaires en grève (2:20)  http://www.lemanbleu.ch/replay/video.html?VideoID=34601 

 We also received support from: 

  ·     International Trade Union Confederation  http://staffcoordinatingcouncil.org/attachments/article/536/ITUC%20letter.pdf 

·     Public Services International  http://www.staffcoordinatingcouncil.org/attachments/article/536/PSI%20letter.pdf 
·     Communauté genevoise d’action syndicale  http://www.cgas.ch/SPIP/spip.php?article3458 
·     ILO Staff Union  http://staffcoordinatingcouncil.org/attachments/article/536/MESSAGE%20FROM%20ILO%20STAFF%20UNION15%20MARCH%202018.pdf 

·     UN retirees association (AFICS)  http://www.staffcoordinatingcouncil.org/attachments/article/536/MESSAGE%20FROM%20AFICS%2015%20MARCH%202018.pdf


At the same time, and following questions raised by the Director-General’s email last week, the Secretary-General’s deputy spokesman confirmed at Friday’s noon press briefing (https://www.un.org/press/en/2018/db180316.doc.htm) that, “we believe that the right to strike is part of customary international law.”
 
Friday’s strike has also gathered momentum in other organizations and duty stations. The ILO, WHO, all UN agencies in Bangkok, and possibly others will also decide this week on whether to strike in what would be the first joint global strike the UN common system; UNEP staff in Geneva have just voted to join the strike. Based on our discussions at the townhall last week, we would organize our second day of strike concurrently with them. The final decision on the first global strike, depends on whether the International Civil Service Commission, meeting this week in New York, adequately addresses staff concerns. These include suspending negative results of cost-of-living surveys and local salary scales given the questions that have arisen about calculation errors, lack of transparency and distortion of methodology and ensuring staff have a say in their working conditions.
 
In this regard, the New York staff union inaugurated yesterday's ICSC meeting with a protest : https://www.facebook.com/unstaffunions/videos/2065014557050822
 
Our collective action, in Geneva, across agencies, and other duty stations, sets a clear message to member states and our management on what we expect this week from the ICSC. We will keep you closely informed on preparations for what may be a necessary and important second day of strike (or first global strike) later this week.
 
In solidarity.

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The strike is on for tomorrow 16 March 2018 - please stay at home | La grève aura lieu demain 16 mars 2018 - restez chez vous

(français en bas de page)

Thank you for voting today. We know some of you queued for up to 20 minutes to exercise your right. The results communicated to us by the polling officers are as follows:

Yes: 1,040 (89.4%)

No: 120

Invalid and blank votes: 3

With the requirement of a simple majority, the Council now has the legal basis to call a strike. 

The first day of strike is tomorrow (Friday 16 March 2018).

Work resumes on Monday and we will communicate next steps.

Please therefore stay at home. 

You do not need to inform your supervisor nor be concerned with how services will be maintained. Missions will be informed that meetings, security and other services will not be running as planned, and they will now be able to see the direct impact of their decisions concerning our pay and conditions. We understand that some important meetings have already been moved to Monday as a result.

The results of the vote are largely positive and show your courage in saying a big NO to efforts by the ICSC and our employer to weaken our conditions of service, in an arbitrary manner. You also said NO to intimidatory emails from management.

Please share the news with your colleagues.

You may also wish to insert the following out-of-office message in your email:

Due to ongoing industrial action at the United Nations in Geneva I will not be able to reply to your message today. Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you for your support today and let’s all move forward in solidarity. 

Please find below once again for information, our FAQ on the strike as well as messages of solidarity from the ILO staff union and the association of retirees. Public Services International, which represents public sector workers around the world has also sent this letter to Secretary-General Guterres.

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Why the strike is important + information session on Wednesday at 1.15 p.m. | Pourquoi la grève est-elle importante et session d’information le mercredi à 13h15

On Wednesday we are organizing an information meeting to explain the strike. It will take place at 1.15 p.m. in Room XIX.

At the meeting we will present the situation below and answer your questions.

If you vote on Thursday for a strike, which we encourage you to do, the first strike will be this Friday.

Why are you being asked to vote on a strike?

The Staff Council's regulations require a UNOG-wide vote in the case that the Council believes that a strike should be held.

The regulations also state that a strike is a tool of last resort when all other means of reaching agreement have been exhausted. We believe that we are now at that stage. 

The ICSC has so far refused to acknowledge its errors. Further, a meeting last week of its Advisory Committee on Post Adjustment Questions (ACPAQ) acknowledged problems with the way P salaries have been calculated in Geneva and elsewhere, proposed studying improvements for the future but refused to correct the current cut.

In a separate meeting between staff representatives and Secretary-General Guterres, he agreed to study options for improving the ICSC’s way of working but did not agree to reverse the ongoing cuts.

The ICSC meets again next week. Without a strong message from staff it is unlikely to change its mind. For this reason staff in Bangkok as well as at the ILO in Geneva are also discussing strike action.

Can the organization take any measures against you for striking?

As the strike is legal, the Council's senior external legal adviser has confirmed that staff who strike cannot be retaliated against.

This doesn’t exclude the possibility that salary could be retained pro rata. However, from our perspective it is not clear how it would be done. Would supervisors be able to monitor presence if they themselves are on strike? Can retention of salary be justified if the staff member has to anyway catch up at a later date on the work they didn’t carry out during the strike? Can the UN require presence at the office while promoting flexible and smart working? Can functions whose presence is more easy to measure be singled out versus other functions?

This could explain why pay was not retained during the previous strike at UNOG of 1977. However, should a day of pay be retained, this will still be less than the eventual pay cut for P staff and the risk of cuts for G staff.

What is the background to the strike and how does it concern G and P staff?

The International Civil Service Commission, which we believe to have been taking instructions from certain member states, has pursued an austerity agenda that has included: 

For staff in Geneva:

  • a 3.6 percent pay cut in the February pay slip of P staff (to be followed by a further estimated 1.5 percent pay cut in June) despite an understanding last July that the cuts would be more limited. The cuts were found by senior UN and external statisticians to be based on flawed use of methodology and calculation errors;
  • less frequent step increments and decreased education grant for P staff; and
  • an upcoming review of the methodology for setting G staff pay at which the ICSC will consider increasing the weight of local government salaries, which are lower, in the total mix. This will reduce G pay.

For staff outside Geneva:

  • cuts in the salary scale for G staff of 13 percent in Bangkok and 25 percent in Tokyo, partly from the way local government salaries have been included; and
  • reneging on a commitment to increase pay for P staff in Budapest by 7 percent.

This is against a background of austerity at the UN in Geneva which includes for example:

  • an important number of administrative G staff posts to be offshored with no clear methodology nor transparent reasoning; and
  • the decision, which we believe to have been made suddenly, to close the reference unit.

In conclusion

This vote is extremely important. We hope you will take part. And should the vote be positive we trust you will participate in the strike.

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Consultation on a proposal for a strike | Consultation sur une proposition de grève

A consultation on a proposal for a strike has been requested by the Staff Coordinating Council, as per article 16 of the Regulations on Representation of the Staff of the United Nations Office at Geneva. 

The Polling Board therefore invites all staff to reply to the following question: 

Do you agree to resort to a strike of one or more days against the ongoing deterioration in your pay and conditions of service, if all means of reaching agreement with our employer and ICSC fail?

Please find below the statement of reasons making it advisable to call a strike, as proposed by the Staff Coordinating Council: 

Following your recent demands, the UNOG Staff Coordinating Council has decided to call for a referendum to resort to one or more days of strike. 

Such strike action may be required as part of the campaign to determine pay and conditions in a more balanced, participatory, fair and transparent manner. 

The serious and ongoing deterioration in employment conditions for all staff categories in all duty stations has resulted from the decisions of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC). For P staff in Geneva this includes 3.6 percent pay cut in the February pay slip (to be followed by a further estimated 1.5 percent pay cut in June) and the outcome of the compensation review, including the unified salary scale, less frequent step increments and decreased education grant. For GS staff, it includes a review of the compensation and salary survey methodology, due to start this summer, that will likely, as things stand, lead to further reductions in pay (Cuts have already been implemented to GS pay by 10 percent in Bangkok and 25 percent in Tokyo).

The ICSC breached an earlier understanding reached in July 2017 that the pay cut for P staff in Geneva would not exceed 3 percent. This is one of several examples of ICSC decision-making lacking accountability, transparency and based on erroneous calculations. There have been distortions in the official methodology and there are serious concerns about the professional independence of the body. 

As a result, staff have lost confidence in the ICSC and are disappointed that the UN, contrary to some specialized agencies, has already implemented the ICSC’s cuts.

The strike would be a tool of last resort, should other means of reaching agreement with our employer and ICSC fail.

For these reasons, the Council advises you to vote yes. 

The consultation will be held on Thursday 15 March 2018, in the following buildings: 

Palais des Nations:

- Door 6     09.30 - 12.30

- Door 40     13.00 - 16.00

Palais Wilson:     10.30 - 12.30

ITC:     10.30 - 12.30

Motta:     14.00 - 16.00

DuPont de Nemours Building:     14.00 - 16.00 

Voting procedure

To vote, electors are required to present their UN badge or legitimation card.  Each staff member who holds a contract of any kind on the date of the consultation is entitled to vote.   

The Polling Officers:

Astrit Sulstarova, President

Tor Bothner, Vice-President 

Ahmed Darwish

Amélia Delle Foglie

Guoyong Liang 

Khanam Jauhan

Madeleine Cieniewicz

Mark Pryce

Oleksandr Svirchevskyy

Rafik Fathi 

Yenlin Zhang

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Inter-Agency Games 2018 | Jeux Inter-institutions 2018

We are pleased to share with you the announcement below from the United Nations Staff Sports Commission in Geneva (CSPNU).

As is traditional, the Staff Council will subsidize the participation of its dues-paying members

All staff attending are granted three days of special leave with full pay.

Good luck to all and bring us back some medals !

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The women who inspire us on IWD 2018 | Des femmes qui nous inspirent aujourd'hui

On International Women's Day, we would like to pay tribute to the brave teachers of West Virginia, three-quarters of them women, who went on strike last week in the face of deteriorating pay and conditions, and on Tuesday won a 5 percent pay rise. More here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/opinion/west-virginia-teachers-strike.html

As we continue our campaign against the untransparent and arbitrary way in which our pay and conditions are being set by the ICSC (15 commissioners of which 13 men and 2 women), let us be inspired by the courage of these women and men.

Our best wishes to all of you on International Women's Day!

Read more...

More Articles...

  1. How to appeal the pay cut at the Tribunal | Comment contester légalement les coupes de salaire?
  2. Tuesday's staff meeting on the pay cut and next steps | Réunion du mardi sur les coupes salariales et prochaines étapes
  3. Photos and video from the long service medal awards | Photos et vidéo de la cérémonie de remise de médailles pour service prolongé
  4. Staff-management working group recommends 4.4 percent increase in pensions | Le Groupe de travail personnel-administration recommande une augmentation de 4,4% des indemnités de pension
  5. Next steps following Monday's pay cut meeting | Prochaines étapes suite à la réunion de lundi sur les coupes salariales
  6. Professional audit shows Staff Council accounts to be correct and properly maintained | Résultats positifs de la vérification professionnelle des comptes du Conseil de coordination confirme que tout est en ordre
  7. Update on the creche project | Informations mises à jour sur la crèche
  8. Relax and get into shape this autumn with the Well-being & Health Club | Détendez-vous et maintenez votre forme cet automne avec le Club Santé et Bien-Etre
  9. Letter to Secretary-General urging him not to appeal judgment against pay cut in the compensation review | Lettre au Secrétaire général l'appelant à ne pas faire appel du jugement relatif à la baisse des salaires
  10. Long service medal awards ceremony 2018 | Cérémonie de remise de médailles pour service prolongé 2018
  11. Cafeteria to offer discounts to staff in the future | La cafétéria proposera des réductions à tout le personnel
  12. Mandatory age of separation is now 65 for all staff | L'âge obligatoire de départ à la retraite est désormais de 65 ans pour tous les fonctionnaires
  13. Good news for staff pay at the UN Dispute Tribunal | Bonnes nouvelles du Tribunal administratif concernant la rémunération des fonctionnaires
  14. Better news than expected regarding impact on staff of budget cuts | De meilleures nouvelles que prévu concernant l'impact des réductions budgétaires sur le personnel
  15. Happy Holidays from the Staff Council | Joyeuses fêtes de la part du Conseil du personnel
  16. Percussion classes at the Palais 2017-2018 | Stage de percussions au Palais 2017-2018
  17. FROM THE UN STAFF UNIONS: Procurement scandals and cover-ups at pension fund; SG urged not to renew its CEO
  18. Making it easier to come to work by bike | Rendre facile la venue au travail en vélo
  19. 2017 Christmas Concert by the UN Music Club | Concert de Noël du Club de musique de l'ONU 2017
  20. Discounts for UN staff | Rabais spécialement négociés pour les fonctionnaires de l'ONUG
  21. Townhall on parental leave | Réunion sur le congé parental
  22. Swiss nationality | Nationalité suisse
  23. Session on the staff selection system and your rights | Réunion sur le système de sélection et vos droits 11/12/2017
  24. Christmas concert | Concert de Noël 2017
  25. Medical insurance for dependents of Swiss nationals | Assurance médicale pour les personnes à la charge des ressortissants suisses
  26. 2017 Staff party on 8 December | Fête de fin d'année du personnel le 8 décembre 2017
  27. 2017 International Photo Club Annual Contest | Concours annuel du Club photo international 2017
  28. We met with Member States to defend your interests | Nous avons rencontré les Etats membres pour défendre vos intérêts
  29. International Photo Club Annual Contest 2017 | Concours annuel du Club photo international 2017
  30. News on the Pension Fund | Nouvelles concernant la Caisse des pensions
  31. We all have a role to play in eliminating sexual harassment from the workplace | Nous avons tous un rôle à jouer dans l'élimination du harcèlent sexuel sur le lieu de travail
  32. Lunchtime staff event on Place des Nations and intern event at ILO | Événement pour le personnel sur la Place des Nations et événement pour les stagiaires au BIT
  33. Call for volunteers: staff party talent show and parade of nations | Appel à volontaires pour un "talent show" et une parade des nations pour la fête du personnel
  34. Staff Council resolution on SHP expresses serious concerns | Une résolution du Conseil exprime de vives inquiétudes en relation avec le PSP
  35. Session on the staff selection system and your rights | Réunion sur le système de sélection et vos droits
  36. UN Beach open until 22 October | Le Club de la plage de l'ONU ouvert jusqu'au 22 octobre
  37. UN Beach open until 15 October | Le Club de la plage de l'ONU ouvert jusqu'au 15 octobre
  38. Summary of last week's townhall on the pay cut | Résumé de la Réunion générale de la semaine passée sur les coupes salariales
  39. Join the UN Football Club | Devenez membre du Club de football de l'ONU
  40. New training activity of the UNOG Table Tennis Club | Le Club de tennis de table de l'ONUG vous propose une nouvelle activité
  41. Changes to the rules on mandatory age of separation | Amendements des règles relatives à l’âge de la retraite
  42. Dance classes at the UN | Cours de danse à l'ONU
  43. Collection for the victims of the recent earthquake in Mexico | Collecte en faveur des victimes du récent tremblement de terre au Mexique
  44. Meeting with the Geneva private schools association | Rencontre avec l’Association genevoise des écoles privées
  45. Theatre Club starts again on Tuesday 19 September | Le Club de théâtre reprend ses activités le mardi 19 septembre
  46. Update on the legal appeal against the pay cut | Informations mises à jour sur le recours juridique contre les coupes de salaire
  47. Staff Council statement for World Humanitarian Day and petition | Intervention du Conseil de coordination du personnel à l'occasion de la Journée humanitaire mondiale et péitition
  48. Summer's not yet over at UN Beach | L’été n’est pas encore fini à la plage de l’ONU
  49. Percussion classes at the Palais | Stage de percussions au Palais
  50. New crèche places for UN staff | Nouvelles places de crèche pour les fonctionnaires de l'ONU
  51. Action to take on legal cases regarding pay cuts | Mesures à prendre concernant la procédure juridique contre les coupes salariales
  52. Important news on the pay cut | Nouvelles importantes sur les coupes salariales
  53. Tennis camp for children during the summer holidays | Stages de tennis pendant les vacances d’été
  54. Your last chance to oppose the salary cut | Votre dernière chance de s'opposer aux coupes salariales
  55. Children's sailing courses and evening yacht cruises at the UN Beach Club | Cours d’initiation à la voile pour enfants et Croisières en yacht au Club de la plage de l'ONU
  56. Townhall tomorrow with important updates on the pay cut | Réunion générale sur les principaux développements relatifs aux coupes salariales
  57. Legal action against the pay cut (template form) | Action en justice contre les coupes salariales (formulaire type)
  58. Legal action against the pay cut | Action en justice contre les coupes salariales
  59. Important improvements to the UN Beach Club | Améliorations importantes du Club de la Plage de l'ONU
  60. Thank you for taking part in the work stoppage | Merci d'avoir participé à l'arrêt de travail
  61. Open Day for golf and tennis initiation - 24 June 2017 | Journée Portes ouvertes (initiation au golf et au tennis) - 24 juin 2017
  62. Your donation for the victims of floods in Peru | Votre donation aux victimes des inondations au Pérou
  63. Crèche places for UN staff | Places de crèche pour les fonctionnaires de l'ONU
  64. Further information on the upcoming work stoppage| Informations supplémentaires sur l'arrêt de travail envisagé
  65. Upcoming work stoppage | Arrêt de travail
  66. Come watch a UN Theatre Club play - 14, 15 and 16 June at 7 p.m.| Pièce de théâtre par le Club de théâtre de l'ONU - les 14, 15 et 16 juin à 19 heures
  67. Letter to management on work stoppages | Lettre sur les arrêts de travail
  68. Survey on Protection Against Retaliation | Enquête auprès du personnel sur la protection contre les représailles
  69. Photos from the Children's party 2017 | Photos de la fête des enfants 2017
  70. Children's Party "Pirates for Peace" | Fête des enfants "Des corsaires pour la Paix"
  71. Extraordinary meeting of all Geneva staff on Wednesday regarding the 7.7 % pay cut | Réunion extraordinaire des fonctionnaires à Genève au sujet des coupes salariales de 7.7%
  72. Concert celebrating 70 Years of the "UN Singers" | Concert à l'occasion des 70 ans des "UN Singers"
  73. Next steps on the pay cut | Prochaines actions contre les coupes salariales
  74. Second edition of "Courir sans Borne" | Deuxième édition de « Courir sans Borne »
  75. Update on the "No 7.5% Pay Cut" campaign | Informations mises à jour sur la campagne contre les coupes salariales de 7.5%
  76. The Children's party is postponed to 31 May due to bad weather | La fête des enfants est reportée au 31 mai en raison du mauvais temps
  77. No Pay Cut rally | Rassemblement contre les coupes salariales
  78. Paper raises serious questions regarding the credibility of the decision of the International Civil Service Commission to reduce pay in Geneva by 7.5 percent | Un document soulève des questions sérieuses sur la crédibilité de la décision de la Commission
  79. No to 7.5% pay cut | Non aux coupures de 7.5%
  80. Upcoming session of the Staff Management Committee | Session du Comité Administration-Personnel
  81. Our campaign against 7.5% pay cut
  82. Follow-up to our meeting yesterday on the 7.5 percent pay cut | Suivi de notre réunion d’hier sur la baisse de salaire de 7,5%
  83. Children's Spring party | Fête de printemps pour les enfants - 3 May 2017
  84. The 7.5 percent pay cut and how we must fight it | Une baisse de salaire de 7,5% et comment la combattre
  85. Our work programme 2017-2018 | Notre programme de travail 2017-2018
  86. Collection for the victims of the recent floods in Peru | Collecte en faveur des victimes des récentes inondations au Pérou
  87. New creche next to UN | Nouvelle crèche près de l'ONU
  88. Lunch time concert - Yale Alley Cats Choir | Concert à midi - La Chorale « Yale Alley Cats »
  89. Inter-Agency Games 2017 | Jeux Inter-institutions 2017
  90. Le Club ONU de la Plage cherche un nouveau restaurateur
  91. Letter to Executive Heads on advertising vacant posts in a timely manner in order to help career development | Lettre adressée aux Chefs des Secrétariats pour afficher à temps les postes vacants afin de garantir un dév
  92. The report of the 2017 Global Staff Survey is out!
  93. Zumba masterclass at the Palais | Masterclass de Zumba au Palais
  94. Composition of the Staff Coordinating Council | Composition du Conseil de coordination du personnel
  95. Football Club | Club de Football
  96. New! Club d'écriture créative | Nouveau! Club d'écriture créative
  97. Event on Monday in support of the interns | Événement lundi en soutien des stagiaires
  98. How your donation has helped victims of the Ecuador earthquake | Comment votre donation a aidé les victimes du tremblement de terre en Equateur?
  99. Letter of solidarity with ICRC staff following attacks in Afghanistan | Lettre de solidarité avec le personnel du CICR suite aux attaques en Afghanistan
  100. Global staff satisfaction survey - please fill in | Participez à une enquête de satisfaction globale