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Report of the 341st Session of the ILO Governing Body

Category : Message68

The 341st Session of the ILO Governing Body was held from 15 to 27 March 2021 by videoconference. It began with opening remarks by Director General Guy Ryder and the presentation of the 2022-23 Programme and Budget proposals. There was remote participation via the Zoom platform.

The technology helped proceedings run smoothly. There were 977 accredited delegates, compared with around 750 in normal sessions. The GB dealt with as many items as in a regular session. Some 27 decisions were discussed and settled in the virtual sittings. Decisions on 11 items were taken before the session and a further ten will be decided by correspondence in the coming weeks.

Decisions were able to be adopted at any time during the session by a show of hands or electronically. Discussions were held on the following issues: Institutional Section (INS); Policy Development Section (POL); Legal Issues and International Labour Standards Section (LILS); Programme, Financial and Administrative Section (PFA).

On 27 March the Governing Body decided that the 109th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) would be held virtually in two separate parts.

A first part, from 3 to 19 June 2021, would deal with all agenda items except items IV (inequalities and the world of work) and VI (skills and life-long learning). The opening sitting would be held on Thursday 20 May 2021.

The dates for the second part of the ILC will be determined at a later stage.

During this 341st Session of the GB, taking into account the serious and negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ILO Workers’ Group on 27 March adopted a statement on “vaccine equity as a precondition for a sustainable and socially just recovery”.

The statement denounces discrimination, reaffirms the principles of solidarity and the need to promote dialogue, and emphasises the importance of universal, free and immediate access to safe and tested vaccines for all people in the world. It stresses the need to act now and put people before profit and in the interest of a sustainable and equitable recovery everywhere.

Abdoulaye Lélouma Diallo
Assistant Executive Secretary
ILO Former Officials Section


List 2021 of former officials who died

Category : Message68

Information communicated by the Office from January 2021

In memoriam: The Bureau of the Section of Former Officials of the ILO Staff Union extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved families of the colleagues whose names are listed below, as it is currently impossible to send more personalised condolences.

Mme Azab-Doss Ragxa 03.11.20
Mme Azzam Simone 17.01.21
M. Benigno Bruno 12.10.20
Mme Vve Brown-Lana Irene 30.12.20
M. Constable John Olver 25.01.21
Mme Egger Jeanne 03.03.21
Mme Frachet Huguette 22.03.21
M. Gillet Michel J.P. 04. 01.21
M. Jimenez-Sanchez Victor Hugo 30.01.21
   Mme Kalember Solaja 04.11.20
Mme Vve Karaba Sigrun 16.01.21
M. Klotz Valentin 29-01.21
Mme Laverriere Julia Mary 24.02.21
M. Mayer Jean Philippe 13.02.21
Mme Vve Money Lucienne 01.01.21
Mme Vve Musitelli Lucie 03.03.21
M. Nicolier Alain André 08.01.21
Mme Scarto Francese Maria Concetta 25.02.20
Mme Vve Siletto Bianca Catherina 27.08.20
M. Torres Joachim 04.12.20
Mme Tschyrkow Nathalie 20.01.21

 


SHIF schedule of benefits and ceilings / Jean-François Santarelli

Category : Message68

Jean-François Santarelli, Bureau member of the Former Officials Section

Note submitted to the Bureau meeting of 4 November 2020

Profiting from the presence of Florian Léger (SHIF Executive Secretary) and Pierre Sayour (Management Committee Chairperson), I would like to make a suggestion to the Management Committee about the schedule of benefits. The latter is, I believe, generally very much appreciated by participants. However, as the schedule was updated three years ago, it is admittedly, like any update, no longer completely “current”. In most countries there is inflation in health costs, often well above the rise in the cost of living. This is particularly true in Switzerland, as Health Minister Alain Berset recently pointed out.

The SHIF schedule of benefits provides for 80% reimbursement of health costs plus a supplementary benefit scheme. This system largely ensures that members are not unduly penalised by health cost inflation. However, the situation is different for benefits limited by a reimbursement ceiling. In this case, cost inflation leads to an ever-increasing gap between the ceiling and actual health costs, which penalises participants, especially pensioners, who cannot benefit from an increase in their pension.

In some cases, for example that of pensioners in Switzerland who have chosen to receive their pensions in local currency, there has been no uprating of pensions for four years because the benchmark inflation rate has remained too low. This has not been the case for the inflation rate of health costs over the same period.

A typical example is long-term care, particularly in institutions. In Switzerland, the basic rate in an EMS (care home) varies from 7,500 to 8,000 Swiss francs a month, to which is almost always added a monthly supplement of between 400 and 1,500 Swiss francs, depending on the resident’s level of dependency. There are thus appreciable expenses outstanding in relation to SHIF benefits, which are nevertheless quite substantial compared with other insurance schemes. On this point, still in Switzerland where many pensioners live, it should be noted that the authorities, for reasons of economy, no longer systematically seek to ensure that pensioners on retiring join the AVS (Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance) scheme and thereafter benefit from social assistance.

As the SHIF Management Committee did three years ago, a working group should in my view be tasked with updating the schedule of benefits’ current ceilings. Retired members of the Management Committee could usefully participate in this working group as could, if necessary, members of the Bureau of the Former Officials Section.

Thought should also be given to a more or less automatic system of annual updating of these ceilings in line with observed increases in expenditure in the relevant sectors. This would avoid having to raise the question of updating certain ceilings and benefits every few years, with varying degrees of difficulty.


Guy Bezou

Category : Exhibition 2021

Photographe amateur
Photos prises dans le désert 

Les déserts offrent des paysages mystérieux, envoûtant parfois.

Le vent très actif, érode les roches pour former tel un champignon harmonieux et ou ciseler minutieusement la crête d’une dune.

Ces photos d’amateur datent de 2006 pour l’éclipse solaire en Libye et de 2012 pour le désert égyptien. La photo d’école provient d’un village tchadien.

  • Dromadaire couché
  • Coucher du soleil
  • Eclipse du soleil
  • L’ombre
  • Ecole
  • Champignon

General Meeting of the ILO Staff Union – Thursday 25 February 2021, by videoconference

Category : Message68

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on ILO access for staff, most of them teleworking, the General Meeting of the ILO Staff Union to draw up the programme for the current year was held by videoconference. Sandhu Gurchaten was elected chair of the meeting.

Remarks by the Chairperson of the Staff Union Committee

Union Chairperson Catherine Comte-Tiberghien began the meeting by recalling that the previous day, the Committee had met by videoconference with Guy Ryder, Director General. Traditionally held at the beginning of each year, this meeting was open to all staff, thanks to video technology but also to the Committee’s desire to involve staff as much as possible in this type of interaction where no confidentiality is involved. She also recalled that in November 2020, a global meeting of Union Stewards – again by videoconference – had set out the Union’s objectives for the next five years. In her view, the Union must constantly reinvent itself, especially in this period of crisis, to further its objectives and means of action.

Social dialogue and action plan

In the programme of action proposed to participants in the General Meeting, priority was given to social dialogue within the house, the cornerstone of all other action. During this year of pandemic, dialogue has functioned at headquarters in the interests of both the Office and the staff. This was essential in view of the teleworking that had been in place for many months. The meetings were positive. Other priorities identified and outlined by the Chairperson for the coming year included job security, career development, occupational health and safety, staff mental health, equity in personnel policies in the different workplaces (between headquarters and the field offices), the future of the Organization after the Covid-19 pandemic, and the protection and independence of the international civil service. The Union needs to become stronger and better organized; and information needs to flow more easily among members in the different offices.

Remuneration and job security

On the status and remuneration of officials, Catherine Comte-Tiberghien referred to the deadlock around cost-of-living surveys in various duty stations; the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) had undertaken to review the evaluation methods. She also mentioned that only the ILO had introduced a collective bargaining process between staff and the administration, while other organizations continued to be governed by the operation of so-called joint bodies. Precarious contracts had proliferated in recent years and the question arose of end-of-contract compensation for the staff concerned. A campaign is under way for the creation of an unemployment insurance scheme.

In this regard, François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Former Officials Section, recalled that on an experimental basis, unemployment insurance had been contracted in the past with an external agency, but after a short period of operation it was stopped because of the high cost of the insurance for the staff concerned. In his view, the compensation of staff on limited contracts in the event of termination of employment would be the responsibility of the employer itself, as is the case in some countries where the State is obliged to compensate its employees when they are separated.

Meeting with the Director General

After the adoption of the programme of activities and budget, the Union Chairperson returned to the topic of the previous day’s meeting with the Director General. At a time when the watchword is “One ILO”, one of the concerns put to the DG was the unequal treatment of staff in different duty stations; equity is not respected; staff are often disillusioned and demotivated. This is also the case for staff involved in technical cooperation programmes, where financial issues take precedence over human aspects. The situation at the Turin Centre is also tense; collective bargaining to find adequate solutions is struggling to function. The DG should become more involved in the effective functioning of collective bargaining in the field offices.

Other issues raised

In duty stations like Ankara, cost-of-living issues are essential for local staff, given variations in exchange rates. Staff in external offices must remain protected by ILO health insurance, and outside solutions with private, for-profit companies do not provide coverage in line with the Organization’s ideals and principles. The hiring of interns has been suspended for the past year while staff are working from home; the policy on interns has been supported by the Union, which had secured remuneration for them.

Intervention by the Executive Secretary of the Former Officials Section

Under “Other business”, François Kientzler referred to the situation of pensioners – 2,500 are listed in the Office’s register of retired staff – not all of whom receive high pensions, especially widows. Healthcare costs are exploding in Switzerland, while pensions have not been upgraded for several years. The social life of pensioners is greatly affected by Covid-19 and they often suffer depression, with few positive prospects other than vaccination. Despite operational difficulties, the Bureau of the Former Officials Section stands ready to respond to all requests from retired officials, continuing to communicate with them by email and telephone, as well as keeping them informed via the website in particular.

Concluding the meeting, Catherine Comte-Tiberghien thanked participants and particularly the chair. She hoped that staff would remain mobilised to defend the action programme that had just been adopted.

François Kientzler
Executive Secretary
Former Officials Section
24 February 2021


Caroline Scudamore

Category : Exhibition 2021

Nationality, British
Living in France since 1988
BA degree in Textile Design

Email: carolineeliza1@gmail.com

Web site: http://carolineeliza1.wix.com/artandcreations

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artsandcreation

My background and training is in textile design and art and creative activities have always been an important aspect of my life.

I enjoy using all sorts of media including acrylic paint, crayons, pastels, felt tips and a variety of papers, card and textiles etc. I use many tools to apply paint including paint brushes, sponges, spatulas and even forks. In addition, I like developing textures using different media.

I enjoy working with colour and playing with the difference between opaque and transparent colours and also interpreting dark and light.

I am producing more abstract style paintings at present and the influence of nature and my love of colour is an important part of my work.

At present I am holding arts and creations classes for the UNWG, normally in a real life setting, but at the moment the classes take place online, surprisingly this works also very well. I have held classes for the last five years including classes for children, which I find particularly enriching.

My aim is to continue to do classes with all ages, and I would like to do classes with the child and parent together which would I feel be a lovely learning process for both.

I have participated in exhibitions at the UN and also WIPO, WHO and ILO over the past few years.

*****

  1. Soleil dans la Forêt – pastels aquarelle et acrylique
  2. Lumière en or, pastels aquarelle et acrylique
  3. Forêt en automne givré, pastels aquarelle et acrylique
  4. Forêt en automne, pastels aquarelle et acrylique
  5. Forêt verte, pastels aquarelle et acrylique

Cornelia Sultan-Khan

Category : Exhibition 2021

Instagram: Corneliask_art
Email: asultankhan@gmail.com
Mobil: 0049 1742176000

I started to be interested in painting with Acrylic in September 1999 through the United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG) in Geneva, Switzerland. I studied with Patrica Halmoné for 2 years. After several years of “social painting” I continued my studies with Alain Gégout at the atelier “La Rocaille”, Bretigny in September 2007 until end 2016.
Aquarelle workshop July 2018 – Atelier “La Rocaille”
Oct. 2009 – Dec. 2015 member of the MAPG Mouvement Artistique du Pays de Gex, Ferney.

Past exhibitions:
2019-2020
Bolero, Versoix (groupe exhibition)
2004 – 2018
United Nations Women’s Guild UNWG, Palais des Nations, Geneva
Oct. 2016
ILO Group exhibition, Geneva
Sept 2013 – 15
Parvis d’Artistes
May 2011
Château de Tannay – Commission Culturelle
April 2011-15
MAPG, Château de Voltaire, Ferney
March 2011
Salon de Printemps, MAPG, Galerie des Jargilières, Ferney
October 2010
Group exhibition, ILO, Geneva
October 2010
Salon d’Automne, MAPG, Galerie des Jargilières, Ferney
Oct. + May 2010
Group exhibition MAPG, Chateau de Voltaire, Ferney
April 2010
Galérie des Jargilières – Mouvement Artistique de Pays de Gex
2004
Commune du Grand-Saconnex
2000-2014
UNWG
2002
Medical Centre, ICC Geneva
2001
“La Nyance”, Geneva


Nivie van Ginneken

Category : Exhibition 2021

Divonne-les-Bains, France.
+33 683325293
Van.ginn@orange.fr
http://vanginn.wix.com/nivie

“All are in fired clay with a patina and can be kept outdoors as well as indoors.”

  1. Avec mon dauphin
  2. Bluebird
  3. My Friends
  4. Geoffrey the Goose
  5. Milady

Lore Hyatt

Category : Exhibition 2021

Divonne-les-Bains
Sculpteur en Terre
Email: lolohyatt@gmail.com
http://lore.hyatt.lu

In every handful of clay there is life, you only have to find it.

 


Carmen Falaize

Category : Exhibition 2021

France, originaire du Pérou
Tél; 07 87 61 22
e-mail: carmen.falaize@bluewin.ch

Je me suis formée à la peinture avec un groupe d’amies dans une association dans un village du sud de la France.

En été, j’ai participé à plusieurs expositions dans le Var à Correns, Toulon, Carces, Sainte Anastasia, La Val et Gareout.

De même j’ai participé en Suisse à Genève à des expositions à l’ONU, au BIT et à l’OMPI organisées par le Cercle féminin des Nations Unies et le Cercle d’Arts du BIT ainsi qu’à une exposition à la Cité Seniors en 2008.

Tableaux:

  1. Arbre de vie: huile 55/46
  2. La péruvienne à l‘écharpe: huile 55/46
  3. Dînette entre amis: huile 46/38
  4. La farandole : huile 46/38
  5. Le petit Indien: huile 46/38
  6. Callejón del beso: huile 46/38
  7. Mandolina: huile 46/38