STU Flash, 6 July 2020
209th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO
Document 209 EX/5.III.A
ORAL STATEMENT OF THE UNESCO STAFF UNION (STU)
Thank you Mr Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
The STU is pleased that the new updated recruitment policy contributed to the reduction of recruitment time, but still calls for the restoration of internal recruitment before external publication including colleagues on longstanding Project Appointments (PAs).
Furthermore, since the implementation of the ARB, the STU no longer has access to information and is therefore no longer in a position to react in the event of violations of the rules. This is why the STU requests the outright waiver of confidentiality for the members of the ARBs designated by the staff associations vis-à-vis the executive bodies of those associations. This will make the recruitment process more transparent which would be to the benefit of all.
Regarding mobility, STU has always been in favour of this policy and therefore welcomes the recommendations proposed by IOS in its evaluation, which repeats a great number of conclusions of the survey the STU conducted on the subject among colleagues concerned after the 2019 exercise.
According to STU, one of the most worrying findings of this evaluation relates to the expertise of staff, appreciated in different ways from one sector to the next. This has led in particular to an unfair management of operational deferments. Staff experienced frustration and a sense of injustice due to this.
Furthermore, this evaluation shows that the mobility exercise was only intended to move staff members, with no link to the programmatic framework or skills management. STU therefore strongly supports recommendation No. 9 of the evaluation, according to which: “Staff members should be allowed to express interest for at least one higher-level post.”
With respect to post classification, the STU regrets the Director-General's decision to abolish Staff Rule 102.2, which allowed each eligible staff member to request thereclassification of his or her post. This decision was taken against the advice of the staff associations, the Advisory Council on Personnel Policies (ACPP) and Member States. The possibility of requesting a post reclassification offered colleagues one last means of advancement in an organization where career development does not exist. That is another right that is being taken away from them.
Regarding performance evaluation, the STU calls for the establishment of systematic evaluations by staff members of their supervisors, and for measures to combat reprisals. The STU will also pay very close attention to the announced revision of contesting performance appraisals, which should not be another means of suppressing colleagues’ right of appeal.
STU regrets the decrease in the representation of Member States within the Secretariat and the over-representation of Group I. With regard to gender parity, much remains to be done to encourage the recruitment of women to senior posts (P-5 and above) where they are under-represented.
The STU, committed to the well-being of the staff, calls for the establishment of flexible working hours as well as a generalized and more flexible use of telework, the application of which has proven beneficial to the staff and the Organization.
Regarding sick leave calculation, STU calls upon the Administration to annul information circular IC/HR/139, published without any consultation and that to the situation where some colleagues, already weakened by a long illness, find that they exhaust their certified sick leave entitlement. This is not acceptable.
As a conclusion, the STU notes that the health crisis has brought to light the need for flexibility and agile working methods. We hope that the process of strategic transformation will allow their implementation.
Thank you for your attention.
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