Articles: Archives

News from the return to offices at ILO headquarters – August 28, 2020

Category : Archives

Extrait Intranet BIT 28 août 2020

Current status of return to office 

  • The additional 310 staff cleared for this next stage will bring the total number of staff who have completed the medical and HRD clearance to return to the office to around 830 people, with a maximum of 700 (56% of the total ILO staff at HQ) permitted to be in the building at any one time. This limit has been determined after a thorough assessment of safety and health measures, and in particular the need to ensure 2 metre physical distancing in all places.
  • Staff who have not been cleared for RTO will continue to telework, and staff on rotational arrangements will rotate between telework and presence at the office.
  • UNICEF staff who will move to the ILO building will follow the same approach as the ILO.

HQ office arrival time tool 

  • In order to coordinate arrival times and use of the HQ Cafeteria, all staff will be asked to indicate their preferred arrival and break times using a dedicated online arrival time tool.
  • This tool is being introduced as an additional safety measure to optimise physical distancing arrangements during peak periods. The anonymous tool will help to limit the number of staff who arrive or have lunch at the same time.
  • To facilitate the staggered arrival to and departure from office premises , core working hours have been suspended. However, all staff are expected to work a normal weekly schedule of 8 hours per day, or 40 hours per week, regardless of their arrival time.

Death of Mr. Venkataraman Narasimhan / Message from the SG

Category : Archives

Dear Kamala and dear family and friends of Nari,

I would like to say a few words to you as Executive Secretary of the Section of Former Officials of the International Labour Office.

First of all, on behalf of ILO retirees, but also on behalf of the ILO Staff Union Committee, our condolences to Nari’s wife and family.

Dear Nari, you left us very quickly although we had seen your health decline. But despite your fatigue you remained resolutely faithful to your commitments to the end.

Indeed, your engagement with the Section of Former  ILO Officials lasted 23 years; you reminded me of this again when I last visited you on Friday December 13th at the hospital.

Nari began his career at the ILO in 1969 in the Purchasing and Supply Department; he remained in this unit until his retirement in 1996.

You have certainly loyal activist in your commitments; you have been treasurer of our Section during all these years. Previously you were also the treasurer of the Union Committee for many years, having been a member of the union since 1969. You regularly renewed your candidacy for the Bureau of the Section of Former ILO Officials and you were re-elected just a few days ago for the period 2020-2021.

ILO retirees will very much regret your absence because you have embodied the continuity and loyalty of militant commitment and we must all follow your example. I also know that your commitments have been many.

I would especially like to thank Nari’s wife who accompanied him during all these years. She came with him regularly when he was travelling for meetings and I often had the opportunity to share lunch with them.

Dear friends, we have just lost a good colleague and friend. But his memory will remain strongly imprinted in our hearts.

I will finish with the words that a colleague here present sent to me when I announced the death of Nari. The most precious thing you can give to your family, friends and colleagues is “your time”. Nari  gave his time freely to his colleagues and to the associations to which he belonged.

Thank you Nari for everything you have done for us.

François Kientzler
Secretary-General of the ILO Former Officials Section

The Centenary Exhibition of the ILO Art and Decoration Circle (May 27 – 21 June 2019)

Category : Archives

The 2019 ILO Centenary year, despite its many events and exhibitions, still allowed the members of the ILO Art and Decoration Circle to express themselves. The exhibition was not held as usual in the Colonnades but near the conference rooms on R3 South. The opening of the exhibition formed part of the event to celebrate the ILO Centenary organized by the Section of Former ILO Officials on 28 May 2019. This special event was held in the Governing Body Room and was followed by a reception at the Espace Gobelins. The exhibits were much appreciated by the more than 400 retirees who attended.

All the works on display dealt with the theme of the ILO Centenary. While some were more symbolic representations of the presence and action of the ILO throughout the world, others expressed very real situations of the world of work and its constraints: 100 stones laid = 100 years of the ILO; human rights, justice and equality; the universe supported by the work of man; women at work in the fields, at the market, traditional work and trades; the arduousness of the work; etc.

The exhibition was held over the 4 weeks from May 27 to June 21, 2019. Initially planned for 2 weeks, it was extended for the period of the International Labour Conference and was able to be seen by delegates from all parts of the world. We thank all the artists who contributed to this special ILO Centenary exhibition; the works proposed could be included in an upcoming exhibition of the Circle.

Activities Report 2019

Category : Archives

The Section of Former ILO Officials is open to all retired ILO staff, regardless of whether they worked at the Geneva Headquarters or in one of the field offices. Its executive body, the Bureau, comprises 10 members and generally meets every two weeks (except in summer). The Section has an office (6-06) close to the Union offices on the 6th floor and communicates with its members by e-mail, letters, through its biannual bulletin Message and through its website (

This year, 2019, was marked by the ILO Centenary Celebrations, in which retirees participated with the kind agreement of Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General. Contacts and meetings with representatives of the administration, including Protocol, DCOMM, Archives, REPRO, DISTRIBUTION and INSERV, have strengthened the links between the Section and the ILO administration and staff. Successful working meetings brought very positive results for our association’s participation in the Centenary Celebrations. The Section’s call to its members resulted in the collection of around 100 contributions, which have for the most part already been posted on the Section’s website as well as published in Message, particularly Nos. 62, 63 and 64. More will be available in the following issues.

After participating in the launch of the Centenary in January 2019, retirees were able to attend various themed conferences organized by the various ILO departments during this year. Two major events were also celebrated by retirees themselves. On 28 May 2019, at the initiative and invitation of the Section, more than 400 retirees gathered in the Governing Body room to discuss videos and testimonies regarding key moments in history in which the ILO was actively involved: in particular the defense of the Solidarity Union in Poland and the end of apartheid in South Africa. The Director-General honoured this event by opening the meeting and participating throughout. After the Meeting, participants then moved to the Espace Gobelins for a cocktail offered by the Section. Then, on 11 July 2019, about 300 retirees and their spouses met at the invitation of the Director-General, for a Centenary lunch; the key moment of which was the sharing of the birthday cake.

Both events were highly appreciated by the participants. Additional information, including videos and photos of these events are available on our website (see address above) under the heading “Centenary”. The exhibition by the ILO Arts and Decoration Circle on the theme of the ILO Centenary, as well as an exhibition of stamps evoking 100 years of ILO action, accompanied these events. The Section of Former Officials will also be present in the organization of the centennial celebrations of the ILO Staff Union in 2020.

The office of the Section is adjacent to those of the Union. This physical proximity with the Union facilitates permanent contacts and regular cooperation with the Union secretariat, the President and the Secretary General as well as with the other members of the Committee. The exchanges concern in particular issues of common interest such as the Staff Health Insurance and Pension Funds. We supported the Union’s action against the reduction in the salaries of professionals in Geneva and we were delighted by the magnificent staff mobilization that took place in the spring of 2018. We learned at the beginning of this summer that the action taken at the ILO Administrative Tribunal, initiated, encouraged and supported by the Union, was successful.

One of the constant concerns of the Section of Former Officials is the operation and maintenance of our Staff Health Insurance Fund (SHIF). We have intervened repeatedly on personal cases with the SHIF; and we are delighted that the Fund’s revised Statutes and Regulations have now been printed and distributed to pensioners, who, fin many cases, do not use the internet. The previous publication dates back more than ten years so this new edition was essential given the changes made in recent years to the Statutes and Regulations, notably concerning certain preventive and alternative medical procedures.

Representatives of the Bureau of the Section of Former Officials participate in the Board of AAFI-AFICS Geneva. Various associations of retirees of International Organizations are members of this Board. The Board discusses information on pension and health protection issues that is regularly submitted to the United Nations, in particular the functioning of the Pension Fund and the future of the health funds regarding ASHI (After Service Health Insurance). According to the latest information available to us, a reorganization will be undertaken at the offices of the Pension Fund in Geneva and their move to the WMO premises, near the rue de Lausanne, is scheduled for the end of the year.

The Section continues its work of maintaining contact and communicating with retirees. We regularly update the Section’s website (, not only with information that concerns retirees directly, but also with news from the ILO such as the Union’s actions mentioned above. We invest a lot of time to keep the site alive and up to date but neither do we neglect the publication of Message, which is valued and expected by many retirees, and which also requires much work and effort. Thank you to all those who contribute to it; as we always call on volunteers to help with translations and proofreading or to submit articles.

The Section participates in the annual Pre-retirement Seminar and we take the opportunity on this occasion to welcome participants individually and exchange a few words with them. This contact is very important to encourage future retirees to join the Section of Former Officials. Indeed, although the ILO offers facilities to the Section, if we are to continue our activities and provide help to retirees, we also need financial resources. Many new retirees are reluctant to join us and say that Message and the Section’s website are available to them free of charge. Although the members of the Bureau are all working on your behalf on a voluntary basis, we need to finance a secretary and a web master in order to maintain our activities. We invite all future retirees to become members of the Section. As is the case every year, representatives of the Section will be present and participate in the Pre-Retirement Seminar in November 2019.

The Section of Former Officials supports the ILO Arts and Decoration Circle (a member of the Sports and Leisure Association), which organizes an annual exhibition at the ILO. Finally, the invitation of retirees by the Director General to the annual receptions in May and December in Geneva are an important and special opportunity to meet with former ILO staff. The participation of the Director-General in these receptions is always much appreciated.

François Kientzler
Secrétaire exécutif

Access to the parking for visitors

Category : Archives

Dear colleagues,

We wish to inform you that as from 11 November 2019, access to the P1 car park will be completely closed for works until the end of February 2020. As a result, no parking (vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles included) will be possible and the access doors to the North and South P1 will be closed.

During the works period, the following measures will be applied:

– Parking P2 will be used as a replacement for parking P1 and will welcome visitors.
– Bicycle and motorcycle spaces will also be available at P2.
– The places allocated to P1 by name will be transferred to P2 and panels will be set up to identify them (the P2 barrier is opened by reading the personal badges at the access point).
– Access to the building for pedestrians will be from car parks P2 and P3. Outside the Office’s opening hours, access will be via the SAS of parking P2.
– The taxi drop-off/collection point will be located in the “banana” waiting area on the right, before the entrance to the delivery dock.

As a result, staff are requested to park at car parks P3 and P4. It will be possible to use the P5 car park for oversized vehicles or vehicles with a right-hand driving position.

For your safety, please follow the signs and instructions of the security guards.

It is therefore reminded that all vehicles, including motorcycles, scooters and bicycles, must be removed from the P1 car park by Friday, November 8, 2019 at the latest.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

We thank you for your understanding and look forward to your cooperation.


Visit to ILO Geneva by retired trade union members from the French department of Ain (13 June 2019)

Category : Archives

Wearing two hats as both Executive Secretary of the ILO Former Officials Section and Council member of the local retirees’ branch of the CFDT trade union confederation, I made the suggestion that the branch’s annual outing should take in a visit to the ILO on the occasion of the Organization’s Centenary in 2019. This duly went ahead, with 50 retirees and activists from the department of Ain, mainly the Bourg-en-Bresse region, being welcomed to the Office on Thursday 13 June by Remo Becci, Chief of Records and Archives. After a brief presentation on the Organization’s creation in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles that followed the war, Mr Becci recalled the great moments of the ILO, the only tripartite international organization, before offering a passionate exposition of its missions and activities. For 100 years, the ILO has been active throughout the world in a variety of sectors, and numerous Conventions have been adopted with no little difficulty in terms of design and implementation. Here he particularly cited the Conventions related to working conditions, equality between men and women, and abolition of both forced labour and child labour.

Three ILO retirees, all members of the Former Officials Section, voiced their strong commitment to achieving greater equality and justice in the world of work. First came Dan Cunniah, former Director of the Bureau for Workers’ Activities, and Abdoulaye Diallo, former staff member of the same unit, who is still active in the African Workers’ Group. Carmen Sottas, formerly with the Standards Department, expressed her commitment to setting standards in the world of work and the abolition of forced labour in particular. Then the Chair of the ILO Staff Union Committee, Catherine Comte-Tiberghien, spoke of the difficulties and constraints facing staff working at the ILO, particularly with regard to work-family balance and assignment to other continents.

The visit coincided with the Centenary Session of the International Labour Conference, which enabled participants to meet delegates from all continents. The Conference adopted a new ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, setting out basic principles governing the missions and activities of the Organization, as well as a more specific Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, which will now have to be incorporated into national legislation in order to become effective.

After a brief stop at the Place des Nations and a photo in front of the Broken Chair symbolizing the victims of landmines, the visitors breathed in the fresh air of Lake Léman before calling at Ferney to visit Voltaire’s chateau, where the philosopher and writer lived from 1759 to 1778. In the opinion of one of the retirees participating, the group had had an “exceptional” day.

François Kientzler

Message no. 66 Editorial

Category : Archives

Dear retired colleagues,

Many of you attended the events organized by the ILO Administration and the Section of Former ILO Officials in 2019 to celebrate the ILO Centenary. The afternoon of 28 May, to which the Section invited you, was a great success due both to its content and participation. Similarly, the luncheon on 11 July held at the invitation of Guy Ryder, Director General, allowed many retirees and their spouses to meet. In this issue 66 of Message you will find various articles recounting these events. In addition, for those who could not attend and for those who live far away from Geneva, the historical videos included in the 28 May programme are available on our website on the Centenary page ( The site also includes most of your contributions to the ILO Centenary.

Ivan Elsmark, editor of Message for more than two decades, and who has spent much time and energy in the service of the Section of Former Officials and indeed all retirees, will leave the Section at the end of the year. The same is true of Marianne Stämpfli, office secretary and assistant to Mr Elsmark, who will also end her commitment to the Section after 19 years of faithful and regular service. I have had the opportunity to work with both of them for 10 years, especially on Tuesday mornings, and it has always been in a good atmosphere and humour despite the diverse and sometimes complex tasks that awaited us. I thank them on behalf of you all because, in conjunction with the members of the Bureau of the Section, over this time we have been able to achieve greater recognition of the Section by the ILO.

As this Centenary year ends, I have one wish: that even if you have been retired for many years you would join the Section, as our action depends on it. The Bureau of the Section of Former ILO Officials welcomed the success of its involvement in the Centennial events. We sent the invitation of 28 May to all ILO retirees, even those who are not members of the Section. The same is true of Message, which is widely distributed and our website is open to everyone. We do not discriminate but we would like to have financial support from more of you, and I am referring to those who are not yet members of the Section. Many of you joined and paid your dues on May 28 to support us. Until recently, we were able to finance our services with the member contributions we collected plus bank interest, but unfortunately this has not the case for 3 years and we are now drawing on our reserves. Please join the Section and support us, even if you have been retired for many years (see the membership form in this issue). You can e-mail us ( and make an appointment, call us on a Tuesday morning between 10am and 12am (00 41 22 799 64 23), or visit our office (6-006). We will be happy to welcome you and inform you about our activities.

Indeed, new challenges await the new Bureau of the Section, which will be elected at the end of 2019, including the continued publication of Message, the development of our website and the organization of the secretarial work. The Section’s Bureau is determined to continue its commitment to you and to meeting your expectations, representing you to the Administration and defending your interests on all social protection and pension issues. Thank you for supporting us.

Union action “NoPayCut”

Category : Archives

Staff Union Broadcast of 3 July 2019

Dear colleagues,

The patience of colleagues affected by the wage dispute in Geneva has been severely tested in recent months, but the long-awaited decision of the ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) has finally arrived.

Please find below the decision which is a VICTORY for the complainants and the Staff Union:

DECISION (Judgment No. 4134)

For the above reasons,

1. The impugned decisions of 28 September 2018 and 18 October 2018 are set aside.

2. The complainants’ and interveners’ April 2018 payslips and all subsequent payslips implementing the ICSC’s contested decisions regarding the revised post adjustment for the duty station of Geneva are set aside.

3. The ILO shall provide the complainants and interveners with new revised payslips as from the April 2018 payslip with a post adjustment multiplier not based on the revised post adjustment index resulting from the 2016 cost-of-living survey.

4. The ILO shall pay each complainant and each intervener an amount equivalent to the difference between the remuneration actually paid to them since April 2018 and the remuneration that would have been paid to them during the same period but for the implementation of the ICSC decisions, with interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum from due dates until the date of final payment.

5. All other claims are dismissed.

This decision must now be thoroughly analysed by our legal adviser before the ILO Staff Union can pronounce itself on it, as the stakes are so high for the future of work and the international civil service, both at headquarters and in the field.

In any case, the Staff Union wishes to pay tribute to the tenacity and commitment shown by all its members in this conflict over the past three years. It would particularly like to thank all colleagues based in the field and/or belonging to different categories of staff, who have demonstrated a truly remarkable trade union solidarity of which the ILO Staff Union as a whole can be proud. On the eve of its own centenary, the Staff Union will continue to fight tirelessly to ensure that professional relations within the United Nations system are in line with the ILO’s mandate, values and principles.

Updates September 2017

Union: message following CFPI meeting July 2017

ILO information on post adjustment

Former officials’ message

In the name of the Committee of the Section of Former Officials of the ILO Staff Union, I assure you of our support for the action you have taken against the reduction in the Geneva post adjustment following the decision of the CFPI, which was based on incomprehensible analysis and issues and which resulted in§§ unjust financial conclusions. We congratulate the Union Committee on the leading role it has taken in this action and we personally appreciated the mobilization you engendered during the demonstration on Wednesday 24 May 2017.

May 2017