Earlier today all three staff federations (FICSA, CCISUA and UNISERV) representing all UN common system staff worldwide, together with a representative of the UN New York Staff Union, met with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, to discuss several important issues.
We are pleased to be able to report that the UN Secretary-General devoted a lengthy amount of his time to this meeting during which we were able to convey to him some of our main concerns such as: Problems relative to the ICSC's methodology and its application for establishing the post adjustment element of our pay; the functioning of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and the need to bring the ICSC back in line with its independent technical mandate and core UN principles of accountability and transparency; deterioration in the employment and working conditions of field-based staff following the ICSC's review of the total compensation package; severe currency devaluation problems in several duty stations; and the need to ensure that all common system organizations and agencies exercise their discretion to exceptionally provide boarding-related expenses and education grant travel for a limited time to parents whose children were already attending a boarding school before the amendments came into effect.
During this meeting, FICSA also expressed its appreciation to the UN Secretary-General’s commitment to encourage and enable staff to disclose sexual harassment in the workplace and suggested that his recent initiative to establish a “Speak up” helpline be extended to all other UN organizations and agencies.
The Secretary-General, after asking us numerous questions relative to several of these issues, requested his staff to provide him with further information on some of the matters and requested that specific action be taken on the other items discussed.
FICSA is appreciative of this joint initiative with its sister staff federations and the UN New York Staff Union, and looks forward to this continued cooperation in all organizations and agencies. It is essential that we remain united when it comes to tackling such important common issues.