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STU Flash, 11 October 2018

Oral Statement by the STU, 205th session of the Executive Board

STU/68th Council/18/017
11 October 2018


205th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO



Thank you Mr Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

In the begining, the STU would like to ask the Administration about the survey conducted last February, the results of which are of concern: what are the follow-up actions? There is an urgent need to restore trust between staff and the management team, enable staff to advance in their career by offering them appropriate training opportunities as well as to improve the working environment, which many deem unsatisfactory.

Furthermore, the STU urges the publication of an Administrative Circular as soon as possible formalizing the composition of the Board of Management of the Medical Benefits Fund.

As regards recruitment, the STU renews its request for the restoration of internal recruitment, taking into account the UNESCO staff members who do not hold fixed-term contracts, who always make up half of the Organization’s workforce, before any potential external publication if necessary. In this respect, the STU is outraged at having been excluded from the new Appointment Review Boards (ARBs), which confirms the opaque nature of the recruitment process and constitutes a violation of the rights of staff associations.

The STU strongly opposes the suspension of post reclassification decided by the Administration last August, without consulting the staff associations, and in violation of the Staff Rules. The revision of the recruitment policy does not justify this measure: as long as a new policy is not in force, the old one must be implemented. STU warns the Administration against possible condemnations by the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) for non-compliance with the Staff Rules in force.

To date, the dysfunctions of internal justice cost the most to the Organization. The STU therefore welcomes its upcoming review of the system and looks forward to the establishment of a justice system, which is finally equitable. We stress in particular the need to minimize delays through prohibition of any extension requests so that proceedings will take no longer than one year.

With regard to mobility, a list of clear and established criteria need to be provided and overseen by the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM) and should be attached to the policy to guide the mobility review. HRM must both steer and be the driving force behind this exercise that cannot be left to the sole discretion of the sectors and field offices. HRM will have to ensure that this exercise is transparent and rigorous, especially given that since resources are limited, the number of posts subject to mobility will also be limited. Moreover, STU requests that the payment of the mobility incentive, which is terminated after five years, be extended until the Organization is able to propose a new duty station to the staff member

Finally, the STU is paying close attention to the ongoing process of Strategic Transformation. The Director-General wishes to “encourage staff commitment and engagement”. To that end, STU requests that a STU observer participate in all the thematic group meetings concerning human resources. The STU considers that the involvement of staff associations, which bring valuable experience and institutional memory to the table, can only enhance the strategic transformation process, which is so important for the future of our Organization.

Thank you for your attention.