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STU Flash, 16 April 2021

Strategic Transformation: Oral Statement by the STU, 211th session of the Executive Board

STU/69th Council/21/016
16 April 2021


211th Session of the Executive Board of UNESCO



Thank you, Mr Chairperson, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

STU read the document on strategic transformation with great attention and noted with regret the absence of any reference to staff as key players in this process: this is indicative of the lack of consideration that the Administration gives to its staff in its vision of the Organization, excepting the survey on strategic transformation in May 2020

This lack of consideration manifests itself in different ways. Many questions remain unanswered for months despite our reminders, and Staff Rules are often not respected.

The Administration sometimes seems to consider the consultation with staff associations on certain subjects optional, whereas according to chapter 9.2.D.6 of the Human Resources Manual, this consultation is indeed obligatory. To justify the lack of consultation as defined in the Human Resources Manual, the Administration considered, for example, that the change in the distribution of hours worked per day by the security agents did not concern "the employment and working conditions of the staff ".

We also note that several issues have been pending for months, even years. Some colleagues, downgraded in 2014 during the redeployment exercise, are still so today, 7 years later, despite many promises made by the Administration to redress this situation if UNESCO's budget was increased. Unfortunately, this promise was not kept.

The freeze on post reclassifications imposed in August 2018, followed in October 2019 by the abolition of Staff Rule 102.2 which allowed each staff member to request an audit of the level of his or her post (decision taken against the advice of the staff associations, of the Advisory Council on Personal Policies (ACPP) and Member States) also confirms this lack of interest in staff, from whom more and more is asked, without any compensation.

All these dysfunctions have already cost a lot of money to UNESCO, regularly condemned by the ILOAT.

Finally, STU regrets the lack of availability of the Director-General for meetings with staff associations, our last meeting dates back over 18 months, while many other subjects remain pending consideration.

STU strongly believes in the need for a constructive dialogue with the Administration leading, through rapid and appropriate decision-making, to improving the working conditions of all UNESCO staff at Headquarters and in the field and hopes that this dialogue can be conducted with respect for the humanist values, the foundations of our common home.

Let us never forget that the essence of UNESCO is its staff.

Thank you for your attention.