International Civil Servants slam ICSC, prepare for global action

26 February 2018
Staff working at the United Nations and many of its agencies are planning a global day of action for Tuesday, 27th February, to protest the bad faith and intransparent nature of The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which is trying to implement severe cuts to take-home pay.

A letter sent to UN leaders by a coalition of Staff Unions, highlighted the "substantial deterioration in the employment conditions of UN staff around the world, caused by ICSC's findings, recommendations and decisions," resulting from "an austerity agenda driven by certain member states."

A range of factors influenced the decision to take action, including:

(i) negative changes to compensation packages equivalent to the loss of up to one month's salary for affected staff;

(ii) pay cuts in the face of rising costs of living at a number of duty stations and peacekeeping missions;

(iii) unrealistic reclassification of hardship in the most challenging operational environments;

(iv) unrealistic classification of family duty stations;

(v) volatile levels of post adjustment in the field;

(vi) a lack of adequate protection against inflation and currency devaluation for local and international staff in the field;

(vii) an unwillingness to provide the same danger pay to locally-recruited staff as to international staff; and others.

Unions are calling for an overhaul of the ICSC which has an out-dated governance model and refuses to engage in dialogue or allow appeals of its decisions.

The action on Tuesday, set to include work stopages and protests, marks one of the first times that such activity has taken place in UN locations across the world, highlighting the growing strength of organised labour within the organsiation.

Public Services International and our affiliates stand with International Civil Servants, whose dedication to service often sees them deployed to dangerous crises across the world.

PSI will be addressing a letter to all United Nations Executive Heads expressing our support for these workers on the frontlines of the fight for Human Rights.

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