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20 June 2019 - Please read this before you answer the ICSC global staff survey designed to affect your pay, benefits and allowances!

Dear Colleagues,

In line with FICSA’s communication to its membership of yesterday’s date on this subject, the Presidents of all three staff federations have consulted in order to formulate common advice to you on this important matter.

Having completed our consultations we now have the pleasure to provide you with the following information, analysis and guidance which we hope you will find useful in respect to the ICSC Global Staff Survey.

With best regards,
Brett Fitzgerald
FICSA President

 

Subject: Please read this before you answer the ICSC global staff survey designed to affect your pay, benefits and allowances!

 

Dear Colleagues,

The staff federations have received numerous requests from staff seeking guidance relative to the ICSC global staff survey on the UN compensation package.  If you have not already received the survey you will via an email from your respective organization inviting you to participate therein. 

In respect of implementation of the new compensation package, the UN General Assembly (GA) in its resolution A/RES/70/244 invited the Commission to report back to the GA’s 71st session with a progress report on said implementation as well as related findings of a global staff survey on conditions of service.  As with a similar survey in 2013, it would be the intention to use the survey results to guide the ICSC and GA in making adjustments to your salary and benefits.

Your answers will therefore impact your overall pay.

The staff federations had requested the ICSC Secretariat representatives responsible for this survey to provide the questions prior to the survey’s publication for consultation purposes. Regrettably, the ICSC Secretariat did not accept the federations’ request, and the organizations are proceeding with the publication of the survey.

Having received concerns from staff about some of the questions, their phrasing and how the answers may be used given experiences with the survey in 2013, the staff federations have jointly prepared the below guidance. Based on these staff concerns as well as experiences with how the ICSC has functioned in the past, you may find the below analysis of certain sensitive questions in the survey to be useful as you fill it in. The federations have informed the ICSC that they will be broadcasting this analysis.

Since its implementation in 2016 many of you have conveyed to us your concerns with the new compensation package.  Now is your opportunity to submit those concerns directly to the ICSC on an anonymous basis.

The ICSC Survey

Section: Overall views about current compensation

  • I feel my overall compensation package is fair for the contribution I make in my particular job
  • I feel my overall compensation package is fair in comparison with others in my organization
  • I feel my overall compensation package is competitive compared with other similar organizations outside the UN System
  • I feel my salary (base pay + post adjustment where applicable) is competitive compared with other similar organizations
  • I feel my allowances and benefits are competitive compared with other similar organizations
  • This organization offers a good benefits package
  • I understand how my salary (base pay + post adjustment where applicable) is determined
  • I understand how my allowances and benefits are determined
  • I have a good understanding of the UN compensation system/the system is easily understood.
  • Please indicate the most important factors in your decision to accept your first offer of employment in a UN Common System organization.
  • What are the main reasons that you intend to be working in your organization in 12 months’ time?
  • All questions
  • In my organization pay is sufficiently linked to individual performance
  • Stronger links should be made between pay and individual performance in my organization
  • I feel that my individual performance is fairly assessed
  • In my organization performance of teams is rewarded and recognized
  • If you could change just one thing about the compensation system as a whole what would it be?
  • What one thing would you NOT change about the compensation system as a whole?

These statements link essentially to the same point. The stronger your agreement with these statements, the more likely that your compensation might be perceived as being overly generous, and the greater the likelihood that it could be cut again.

These statements link essentially to the same point. The stronger your disagreement with these statements, the more likely that your compensation might be perceived as too complicated, and the more likely that efforts could be made to simplify it and, in the process, cut it.

Section: Joining your first UN Common System Organization

If you do not include “salaries” and “allowances” among your selection, it is more likely that these might not be seen as important, and the more likely the chance they could be cut.  

Section: Retention

If you do not include “salaries” and “allowances” among your selection, it is more likely that these might not be seen as important as retention tools, and the more likely that they could be cut.

Section: Allowances / benefits

Non-awareness by staff of a particular benefit has been used in the past as a reason to eliminate it. Even if you don’t receive a particular benefit at present, you may do in the future. It therefore helps to be aware ofeach benefit.

Section: Career progression and performance / the future

The stronger your agreement with these statements, the more likely that additional within-grade steps could be removed and a bonus system introduced. It remains unclear how performance would be objectively measured and how much would even be paid into a bonus pool by fiscally conservative member states. Experiences elsewhere in the public sector have not been positive. It should be recalled that agreement with these statements in the 2013 survey led the ICSC to reduce the number of within-grade steps and their frequency, with the money returned to member states.

Section: Open Questions

As an example, those of you who have expressed dissatisfaction with the new education grant scheme could use your response to this open question to highlight your dissatisfaction with that element of the new compensation package.

This is a good chance to think about benefits that are important to you and to give them visibility.

The staff federations trust that the above analysis and guidance address the queries and concerns received from staff and would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone that the federations will continue to convey your requests and issues to the ICSC Secretariat and the Commission in a constructive spirit while continuing to pursue improvements in the consultative process and working methods of the ICSC.