Articles: News

Covid-19: border workers and residents will have to present a certificate at the French border

Category : News

Les travailleurs et résidents frontaliers seront tenus de présenter une attestation de domicile, mais pas de test PCR négatif à la frontière franco-suisse. Le gouvernement français a annoncé vendredi la fermeture des frontières hors-UE, sauf motif impérieux.

Voilà la situation clarifiée après un temps d’incertitude. Les autorités françaises ont annoncé dimanche 31 janvier que les travailleurs et résidents frontaliers ne seront pas concernés par les tests PCR obligatoires pour traverser la frontière franco-suisse.

Vendredi, le Premier ministre Jean Castex avait annoncé de nouvelles mesures pour lutter contre la pandémie de Covid-19, en particulier la fermeture des frontières françaises aux personnes venant de pays extérieurs à l’UE ou à l’Espace Schengen. Et d’ajouter qu’un test PCR négatif serait demandé pour toute entrée en France en provenance d’un pays de l’UE, “à l’exception des travailleurs transfrontaliers”.

Le doute planait donc sur la situation des étudiants et résidents frontaliers, nombreux à traverser la frontière chaque jour, notamment entre la Haute-Savoie et la Suisse. Mais la préfecture de la Haute-Savoie vient de préciser dans un communiqué que les transporteurs routiers, travailleurs frontaliers et “résidents des bassins de vie frontaliers dans un rayon de 30 km autour de leur domicile” sont exemptés de l’obligation de présenter un test négatif.

En cas de contrôle, ces derniers devront toutefois se munir de leur pièce d’identité, d’une attestation employeur pour les travailleurs frontaliers et d’une attestation justifiant de leur domicile, ajoutent les autorités françaises. Pour les autres voyageurs, les documents et attestations nécessaires sont à retrouver sur le site du ministère de l’Intérieur.

Cette série de restrictions, annoncées par le Premier ministre lors d’une prise de parole inattendue à l’issue d’un Conseil de défense, est qualifiée de “dernière cartouche” par une source gouvernementale interrogée par l’AFP. Jean Castex a par ailleurs annoncé un renforcement des contrôles du couvre-feu de 18 heures, des fêtes clandestines et de “l’ouverture illégale” des restaurants, afin que “les dérives de quelques-uns ne (…) ruinent pas les efforts de tous”.

Source France 3 : Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (internet du 1 février 2021)

Message from the Director General of January 13, 2021, Information from the SHIF on the Covid-19 vaccine and Vaccination Campagne France/Pays de Gex

Category : News

Covid-19: border workers and residents will have to present a certificate at the French border

Message from the ILO Director General of January 13, 2021

You can see the ILO Director-General’s speech to staff on January 13, 2021 here :

Information from the SHIF on the Covid-19 vaccine

Campagne de vaccination France/Pays de Gex

Staff in Geneva to full-time teleworking from October 19, 2020

Category : News

As of Monday, October 19, 2020 and for an initial period of four weeks, all staff in Geneva will return to full-time teleworking, with the exception of designated staff.

Covid-19 – Update from the Staff Union – 8 July 2020

Category : News

At headquarters, this week of July sees the start of phase 3 of the return to office and the building is finally coming back to life. After some discordance last week, the modalities of this phase 3 have been the subject of certain clarifications by the administration, at the request of the Staff Union. According to the latter, the key words for a successful phased return are: clarity, transparency and fairness. If, at your level, these three criteria are not being met, then take action: ask questions, ask to see the updated lists of who is supposed to return, and according to which criteria, as it seems that a communication deficit persists. And, most importantly, if you discover on the day you return to the ILO that the person with whom you are sharing an office is also present (which should not be the case as 2 or more people sharing an office is subject to a mandatory weekly rotation), then exercise your right of withdrawal.

An uncertain future for the Turin centre that requires our solidarity

You may not know it yet: the training centre in Turin is in turmoil. Its income is based mainly on training and a contribution from the Italian Government. Today the income is drying up and the Centre is looking for solutions to survive.

The Centre has therefore had to start reinventing itself by offering new products and services adapted to the situation and by looking for alternative sources of funding. A better employability of the Centre could be envisaged by the ILO itself, and we know that the administration is working on it. Nevertheless, a new business model must be accompanied by strong and reliable social dialogue to cope with the difficult situation. The staff must be involved in this new strategy.

This is why the ILO Staff Union joins the Staff Union of the Turin Centre under the banner “One ILO” to accompany and support them in all future dealings with their administration, and calls on our ILO administration to do its utmost to save the Centre and all its staff, who have gone through many hardships during this period.

UNDT decision

The decision of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) concerning the complaint of our UN colleagues on the Geneva post adjustment was made public on 30 June 2020. The complaint was dismissed (see the judgment here).

This is bad news as it now firmly puts the future of the UN common system at risk and has repercussions on the entire UN salary system worldwide. The Noblemaire and Flemming principles are in serious danger. Your Union must analyse this judgement in detail, and rapidly contact all the associations and unions and staff federations of the common system to discuss and decide on the next strategy. But it is clear that the future will not be bright, and strong struggles are to be expected.

The Staff Union also expects the administration to provide information and/or communicate its position on this matter as soon as possible.

Communication from the Bureau of the ILO former officials of June 15, 2020

Category : News

Dear fellow members of the Section of Former ILO Officials,

Several months of the coronavirus pandemic have greatly changed the lifestyle of the majority of us. If the virus is in decline in many countries it is unfortunately not yet the case everywhere and the risk of a resurgence of the disease exists despite the efforts that we are all making in respecting the instructions of our governments.

As you may be aware, ILO officials in all offices around the world are mainly teleworking from home and access to ILO offices is very limited; this is certainly the case in Geneva. The Director General’s Notice IGDS No. 567 of 28 May 2020 provides for a “gradual, progressive and staggered” return to the offices.

Executive members of the Bureau of the Section of Former Officials have not been able to physically access their ILO office since mid-March. However, we can still access emails in our email box (, access the ILO intranet and continue to update our website, which is hosted by a company outside the ILO.

You can therefore continue to contact us by email and post as necessary, the latter being transmitted to us via a colleague of the Section. You can also visit our website ( where we post information that you may find useful.

During this period, we received several admissions to the Section and have also noted that the deaths reported to us by the administration are fortunately no higher than those of the same period last year. Please continue to stay healthy!

The Bureau of Former ILO Officials expects to resume its normal activities eventually, and in the meantime remains at your service, in case of need, during this period of restriction.

The Bureau members send you their greetings and very best wishes.

Coronavirus crisis : Message from the Executive Secretary

Category : News

Dear retired colleagues.

Above all, I wish you good health in this difficult time that we are all going through.

As you may know, ILO staff in Geneva are now teleworking from home. Although access to the ILO building in Geneva is no longer possible for us retirees, members of the Bureau of the Section of Former ILO Officials continue to communicate via the Internet and telephone networks.

I would advise you to regularly consult the SHIF and the Pension Fund websites, which provide regular updated information. You can enter both sites via ours ( The SHIF notes (attached) indicate in particular that retirees can continue to send their reimbursement requests by post.

The Union’s Centennial meeting on May 14 in the afternoon will probably be postponed to the fourth quarter of this year, and the reception offered by the Director General scheduled for the same evening has been cancelled.

If necessary you can email us at as we regularly check the messages received.

Dear colleagues, it is important at this difficult time that we all stand together in solidarity and observe the recommendations of our Public Authorities.

Yours sincerely,

François Kientzler
Executive Secretary
Section of Former ILO Officials​


SHIF documents :

ILO Centenary Cup

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On the initiative of the Association of Former International Civil Servants for Development (Greycells) and in cooperation with the Help Us to Help foundation and their respective presidents Alejandro Bonilla and Fabio Ramirez, a golf competition was organized on 15 September 2019 at the Evian Resort Golf Club to celebrate the ILO Centenary for the benefit of miners in the informal economy in Colombia. The competition brought together 25 participants, including active and retired ILO staff as well as members of the Evian Resort Golf Club, the International Golf Club of Geneva and Rotary Club Genève International among others.

This sporting and festive occasion linked with two others, the Summit for Social Justice in Mont Blanc, and the ILO’s 100 km New York bike event for “a just transition to a greener economy”. The ILO Centenary Cup reminded us of the importance of setting long- and short-term goals and doing everything possible to achieve them in the most effective way and in accordance with established standards. Each of the first 17 holes represented one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while the 18th stood for a personal goal that each of us should define and achieve, both at the personal level and that of our loved ones.

The ILO and the Former Officials Section both supported the initiative, which provided another channel for discussing and publicizing the ILO Centenary. The competition was over 18 holes, taking about five hours; one participant said she had walked 15km on very uneven terrain.

Beneath the banners of the ILO and the Centenary, Alejandro Bonilla presented each participant with a commemorative diploma together with a medal and a pin, all marked with the Centenary logo. Fabio Ramirez spoke about the foundation’s work with Colombian female emerald miners, the beneficiaries of the event. To conclude the ceremony, after a few words on the ILO Centenary, François Kientzler, Executive Secretary of the Former Officials Section, presented the trophies to the winners in both men’s and women’s categories. Then, in a very relaxed atmosphere, glasses were raised to friendship on the golf course; participants on this sunny day were able to enjoy the beautiful green setting with superb views of Lake Geneva. All agreed to repeat the initiative next year.

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