SG GUTERRES CONVENES EARLY MEETING WITH STAFF UNIONS

Dear Colleagues, Happy New Year! Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's first meeting within an hour of entering the UN building on Tuesday, was with the staff unions. At the VTC meeting, staff proposed ways for the UN Secretariat to: make mobility more staff friendly by simplifying and accelerating the process of recruitment and deployment; make performance management more relevant and meaningful for career development; provide better protection to whistle blowers; -protect jobs during implementation of the the Global Service Delivery Model; -work towards gender parity and geographic diversity; -improve transparency and accountability of senior managers; -standardize and improve terms and conditions for temporary staff and consultants; -address cuts to compensation packages for P, FS, GS and NPOs; -improve staff safety; -remove transition barriers to P posts for qualified and experienced GS, FS and NPOs; -protect the staff pension fund; and -reset staff-management relations at the Secretariat and HQ duty stations and encourage a culture of staff-management consultation. A number of these proposals are contained in this advance policy document (http://www.ccisua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/StaffUnionProposals.pdf), which was prepared by staff unions in response to the Secretary - General's call for a more simplified, decentralized and flexible organization with a more motivated staff, better whistle blower protection, as well as gender parity and geographical diversity. Noting that the UN would have to prove that it was able reform itself and be more effective, the SG committed himself to finding solutions to the issues raised during the meeting, to improving staff-management relations, and to seeking common ground on issues for which staff and management might traditionally be on opposing sides, such as contract stability and performance management. He also committed himself to support staff in the most remote and dangerous locations. As staff unions, we believe this first meeting was positive and look forward to working closely with Mr. Guterres to protect staff welfare and interests, and to strengthen our common sense of responsibility and obligations to the United Nations in these difficult times. With kind regards, James Ohayo President UN Nairobi Staff Union