General Assembly of the ILO Staff Union Second session, 17 October 2019

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General Assembly of the ILO Staff Union Second session, 17 October 2019

Category : News

The GA agenda included the 2019 Annual Report of the Union Committee. This note does not report on this meeting but highlights some points of particular interest to our retired colleagues.

Catherine Comte, President of the Union mentioned at the beginning of the meeting three current issues.

United Nations reform: The ILO Governing Body reaffirmed the principle of tripartism; however, this principle must not be forgotten when setting up field structures under the reform that favours regional clusters and coordinating focal points.

Internal social dialogue: ILO action plans should be the subject of information, consultation or negotiation with staff representatives. The Administration issued broadcasts on working conditions this summer without involving the Joint Negotiating Committee. Complaints have been filed concerning the lack of consultation.

The decision of the ILO Administrative Tribunal: The ICSC does not recognize the Tribunal’s decision concerning the appeal of hundreds of employees against the reduction of the post adjustment in Geneva for category P and D employees. There are two Tribunals in the Common System, and the second has not yet announced its decision. The existence of the ILO Tribunal and the internal appeal procedures are under threat.

Retirees access to ILO offices in the regions. Regional delegates from the Union Committee spoke at the GA to outline their concerns. Among these were the questions of reimbursement of medical expenses, which can now be made via internet. This is progress for regional officials, but the question for pensioners remains. In this connection, François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Section of Former ILO Officials, spoke about the difficulties that retirees have in accessing ILO field office and the need to improve this. Retirees sometimes need help in submitting claims to the SHIF, and in the near future, some will no doubt want to make their claims online. Several regional delegates reported current practices for retirees and in some cases issues concerning office access. In the context of the United Nations reform, particularly where field services and activities are being consolidated, the issue of access to offices will have to be taken into account.

To conclude his intervention, the Executive Secretary of the Section of Former ILO Officials mentioned the commitment of retirees and their participation in the ILO’s Centenary Events during 2019. The Section will also be available to contribute to the events linked to the Centenary of the ILO Staff Union in 2020. Finally, he hoped that future retirees, particularly union members, would join without hesitation the Section of Former ILO Officials, which needs strengthening and renewing.

20 October 2019
François Kientzler


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