How to appeal the pay cut at the Tribunal | Comment contester légalement les coupes de salaire?

As discussed at our latest staff meeting, an important pillar of our campaign is legal appeals.

Last time 330 of you appealed. However, because the pay cut was delayed from August to February with a revised formula, a new appeal now has to be made.

It is also important that everyone who had their pay cut make an appeal. Not only does this send a strong signal. There is also a risk that if the appeal is successful, those who did not appeal will keep the lower pay. 

If you were part of the original appeal last year, the Office of Staff Legal Assistance will contact you and ask if you wish to appeal again. 

If you were not part of the original appeal, we will be shortly be broadcasting the required form to be sent to OSLA. Please keep an eye out for this.


Tuesday's staff meeting on the pay cut and next steps | Réunion du mardi sur les coupes salariales et prochaines étapes

Thank you for coming in such numbers to Tuesday's staff meeting held as part of the first global day of action. 

The day was part of a campaign against the deterioration in working conditions, resulting from decisions of the International Civil Service Commission that have shown it to have strayed from its originally intended role as an independent and technical body.

The meeting took place the day after Monday's work stoppage; we are pleased that many of you took part.

At the meeting you approved a resolution requesting:

  • an urgent review of the structure and rules of the ICSC with a view to reform;
  • the suspension of cooperation and financial contributions while the review is ongoing, and a suspension of implementation of negative cost-of-living survey results;
  • the organization by staff unions of collective action including strikes;
  • the launch of a no-confidence motion by staff;
  • legal appeals against the ICSC's decisions.

Please note that staff actions were organized across the world this week and they included:

  • a large demonstration in Bangkok,
  • a work stoppage in Addis,
  • the first day of a week of action in Nairobi, and
  • and staff assemblies and gatherings in duty stations from field duty stations such as Iraq, Darfur, Syria, South Sudan, Kuwait, Uganda through to – New York.


Photos and video from the long service medal awards | Photos et vidéo de la cérémonie de remise de médailles pour service prolongé

It was a pleasure to host you on Tuesday for the long service medal awards. We hope you enjoyed taking part in it as much as we did organizing it.

Please find the photos here and the video of Staffan de Mistura's inspiring statement here.

We would also like to thank the Director-General for his participation.

As was said at the event, the UN is nothing without its staff, and it is through its staff that the UN has been able to bring significant improvements to the world over the last 70 years.


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

The Working Group on Pensionable Remuneration, set up by the International Civil Service Commission, met in Madrid at the end of January to consider the impact of the new compensation system for P staff on pensions.

For memory, pensions are calculated as a percentage (depending on years served) of final salary. The salary scale used in this case is the New York net salary scale (more stable than the Geneva scale) increased by an amount to reflect the fact that unlike salaries, pensions are taxable. The amount added is based on the average tax rates in the eight biggest headquarter duty stations. The net New York salary scale (including post adjustment) plus the tax amount constitutes what is called the scale of pensionable remuneration.

Participating in the working group, the CCISUA staff federation, to which our union belongs, along with the FICSA federation, worked with Management and other members to recommend an average 4.4 percent increase in pensionable remuneration for P staff. This means that pensions for P staff would go up by 4.4 percent on average (although less for those retiring within 36 months of when the final decision is approved). This recommendation of course needs to be approved by ICSC plenary and the General Assembly, and work will need to be done by the Council to this end. However, the recommendation is in itself significant and positive.

Another effect of the recommendation would be that for the same salary and years of service, the pensionable remuneration of P staff will be brought much closer to that of GS staff, although there still remains a small gap (because of assumptions on average length of service) in favour of GS staff. This is why no recommendation was made to increase for the time being the pensionable remuneration of GS staff.

Of course this means that the amount P staff pay into the fund will go up by 4.4 percent. However, given that each dollar paid in by staff is matched by two dollars from management, the average gain for staff will be three times the additional amount paid in.

We will keep you updated as this evolves.


Next steps following Monday's pay cut meeting | Prochaines étapes suite à la réunion de lundi sur les coupes salariales

Thank you for coming to the emergency meeting on Monday.

During the meeting we gave a recap of the situation up to now. This included the flaws discovered in the post adjustment calculations last year, the refusal of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) to recognize these, the ICSC’s undertaking last July in Vienna to significantly reduce but not eliminate the cut, which it did not in any case respect (the total cut will now be around 5 percent), the legal and political actions that the staff unions have undertaken, and our preparations for the upcoming review of post adjustment that is being undertaken following our intervention.

We noted that the current dispute with the ICSC is symptomatic of a broader problem that suggests the ICSC has lost its independence and is pursuing an austerity agenda that potentially targets all staff and duty stations. In Bangkok, for example, there is a proposed pay cut of 13 percent for newly recruited local staff that comes on top of a previous pay cut of 22 percent in 2011. 

In recent times, ICSC decisions have also significantly reduced the salaries of G and P staff in other duties stations such as Cairo, New Delhi and Tokyo, and those in peacekeeping missions. This is on top of cuts to compensation for working parents, which were recently declared illegal by the UN Dispute Tribunal.

We also briefed you on how we encouraged 330 of you to appeal against the pay cut. While the judgement requires staff to resubmit their appeals after February pay day, its substance was nevertheless quite encouraging, and to this end we will write separately, at the appropriate time, on how you can take legal action.

The message from your many interventions was clear: you want us to escalate action. To this end we plan further events and a global day of action, coordinated with other unions in Geneva and around the world, that will take place towards the end of the month or the start of next month and could include work stoppages or a strike. 

And at the close of Monday’s meeting you unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in the ICSC. 

The staff federations (our union belongs to CCISUA) will shortly write to heads of organizations informing them of the results of the vote and of our intentions regarding the global day of action.

We will keep you updated as we move along.


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

We are pleased to share with you the recently concluded audit of the Staff Council, which shows the keeping of our accounts to be in keeping with our own statutes and Swiss law.

This is the first audit to be conducted by an external, professional firm - prior audits were undertaken by staff volunteers - and is the culmination of a process to professionalize our accounts in line with international financial reporting standards.

You will note that following the Council's decision not to proceed with the crèche project, announced on 29 January, the provisions that had been set aside will now need to be used in a manner that would respect established criteria, namely, respecting the staff welfare purposes for which the funds were received, ensuring the long-term income diversification for the financing of staff representation, and requiring only passive oversight.

We would like to thank all colleagues who make themselves available to answer the many questions from the auditors - this being their first audit of our accounts.


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