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STU Flash, 15 November 2019

Staff Rights: Oral Statement by the STU, 40th Session of the General Conference

STU/68th Council/19/025
15 November 2019

 

Dear colleagues,

You will find below the oral statement, delivered by STU on 15 November 2019 before the APX Commission at the 40th Session of the General Conference.

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Madame Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

In the first place, the STU regrets the very late publication of the staff associations’ addenda. This deprives the Member States of some of the essential elements of the debates. If it is a problem of understaffing of the Secretariat of Governing Bodies or Translation units, it is important to give them the means to properly organize events of such importance as the General Conference of UNESCO.

The STU reiterates its support for a well-managed, methodical, reassuring and motivating Mobility, which promotes career development by taking into accounts the skills of each, in the interest of the Organization and its mandate. We are therefore looking forward to the results of the evaluation of the Mobility exercise requested by the Executive Board. We will be very attentive to its outcome and the conclusions draw by the HRM.

Otherwise, the STU regrets that it is not indicated anywhere how the new Classification policy will be reflected in the Staff Regulations and the Human Resources Manual. In that respect, the Director-General’s decision to abolish the rule 102.2 of the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules, taken against the advice of the Staff Associations and the Advisory Council on Personnel Policies (ACPP), is not mentioned in this document although it constitutes a serious violation of Staff’s rights.

With regard to the revised Statutes of the Appeals Board, much as the STU takes note with satisfaction to the removal of the words “representing the Administration” in paragraph 2 (b), there are still several points of disagreement.

First, the STU insists on maintaining the current composition of the five members with a Chairperson and four members, and the appointment of two alternate Chairpersons. Contrary to what the Administration asserts, a five-member composition is not a problem rather an efficiency factor for an organ that has to deal with long and complex files.

Furthermore, the STU wishes that the Appeals Board holds three sessions per year, one session every four months. If the current limitation of two sessions per year is due to insufficient resources, then it is the responsibility of the Administration to provide the Secretariat of the Appeals Board with the necessary resources for the proper functioning of this vital organ.

Finally, the STU regrets that, in the proposed statutes, the two Staff Associations will act as observers only if the applicant requested so. It hopes that the wording would be reversed to clarify that the Associations will be present at the Appeals Board hearings unless the applicant objects.

As for the Medical Benefits Fund, the STU requests that the Administrator (MSH International) be evaluated by IOS, its notorious performance among the participants, and an actuarial evaluation be initiated as soon as possible. The most recent dating from 2006, whereas the rules stipulate that it occurs every two years.

To conclude, the STU thanks the Member States for having granted our House an increased budget. This will particularly reinforce the skills of staff members through training, promoting career development and tackling insecurity to ensure a better implementation of the Organization’s mandate.

Thank you for your attention.