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STU Flash, 25 June 2019

Message from FICSA - ICSC's Global Staff Survey

Dear colleagues,

Please find below a message from the Federation of International Civil Servants' Associations (FICSA) regarding the ICSC’s Global Staff Survey.

Best regards,

The STU Council.




Dear Colleagues,

In respect of the ICSC’s Global Staff Survey published by the organizations of the UN common system yesterday (17 June 2019), please be informed that the staff federations had requested the ICSC Secretariat representatives responsible for this survey to provide the questions, prior to the survey’s publication, to the staff federations for consultation purposes.  Regrettably, the ICSC Secretariat did not accept the federations’ request, and the organizations went ahead and published the survey yesterday.

Although some of you will have undoubtedly already completed the survey, the staff federations would nonetheless like to request staff who have not yet submitted the survey to hold off in doing so for the time being as it is of paramount importance to fully understand the possible consequences of responses to certain questions contained in the survey.  For example, if one truly knows based on factual evidence that her/his overall compensation package and allowances and benefits are fair and competitive when compared to other employers, then that might be considered a proper comparative exercise.  If, on the other hand, colleagues are considering to simply tick the boxes which state that they agree or strongly agree with such an assumption based on their feelings, without factual comparative evidence, then colleagues could later be surprised to learn that their responses have been used to justify an argument claiming that most colleagues are happy so perhaps their total compensation packages can be further reduced.

The same applies when responding to questions as to whether colleagues understand how their salaries (base pay + post adjustment), as well as allowances and benefits are determined.  If colleagues tick the boxes to indicate that they disagree or strongly disagree with the statement specifying that they understand how their salaries, allowances and benefits are determined, how can we know that such responses will not be used by the ICSC to justify a simplification of the compensation package, i.e. reductions through the elimination of certain elements of the package.

Should you indicate that salary was one of the factors in your decision to accept your first offer of employment in a UN common system organization, this could be interpreted by some to mean that the UN system organizations should perhaps reduce the salaries they pay.

Whilst the staff federations are not yet calling on staff to boycott this ICSC Global Staff Survey, we are asking you to not respond to the survey for the time being until all three staff federations have had the opportunity to properly and fully consult on this important matter in an effort to formulate a common position which will be communicated to all staff as soon as possible.

Therefore, we would like to kindly request that you not respond to the ICSC survey for the time being.

Brett Fitzgerald

FICSA President