Management - staff relations
(1) At the 13th session (September 1952: CO-ORDINATION/R.132, Section B.1) FICSA requested that it be consulted on matters affecting conditions of employment of international staff. The Committee refused the request, feeling that it would not be appropriate to accord right of participation or observer status to the Federation. The majority of the Committee, however, felt that, subject to a decision by the Committee in each individual case, the Federation should be allowed to submit written statements or be granted a hearing before it.
(2) At the 15th session (1954: CO-ORDINATION/R.162, paras. 49-50) CCAQ discussed a request from FICSA that it be given copies of the CCAQ agenda and working papers. The Committee decided that:
(a) the arrangement (see para. (1) above) which ACC had approved was a suitable one and should be reaffirmed. The Committee was not closed to FICSA;
(b) the opportunity accorded to the Federation to submit written statement and to be granted hearings was not an authorization to the Secretary to transmit the agenda or working papers of the Committee to the Federation. Statements by FICSA might deal with any matter of concern to the Federation, without regard to the agenda;
(c) consultative relations between the administration and staff were properly at the agency level through machinery established for the purpose.
(3) At the first part of the 16th session (April 1955: CO-ORDINATION/R.193/Rev.1, paras. 58-63) CCAQ, after hearing the Chairman of the Federation's Executive Committee, discussed the various proposals submitted by him:
(a) establishment of an inter-agency joint consultation committee: while the Committee was aware that an identical proposal had been communicated to the executive heads of agencies, it did not feel that it should discuss the substance of the proposal;
(b) observer status at meetings of the committee of experts on salary differentials and cost-of-living allowances: CCAQ considered that the terms of reference of the expert committee did not provide for permanent observers at its meetings;
(c) request for CCAQ documentation: the Committee confirmed the decision taken at its 15th session.
As regards the procedure for granting hearings, the Secretary of the Committee was authorized to reply favourably to advance requests for a hearing in respect of specific items of common staff interest contained in the draft agenda.
(4) At its 24th session (March 1963: CO-ORDINATION/R.430, paras. 11-16) CCAQ again discussed with FICSA the question of staff participation in discussions of personnel questions. The Committee agreed that, in addition to the usual direct consultations between each executive head and the staff association of his own organization, arrangements should be made to give FICSA a greater opportunity than hitherto to make its views known at all appropriate stages of CCAQ discussions. To this end:
(a) the organization should normally give CCAQ and Staff Office documents to their own staff associations, insofar as they concerned conditions of service, and should wherever possible ascertain the views of those associations before taking a position in CCAQ;
(b) to the extent practicable, there should be a sufficient interval between the issue of initial studies and the report to CCAQ (or the relevant discussion in CCAQ) to enable the staff associations to formulate their views. In this connection, however, it was noted that pressure of legislative body requirements sometimes virtually imposed the timetable and that when this was so the staff side would need to accommodate itself to the circumstances;
(c) in accordance with its request, FICSA should receive copies of all documents made available to the staff associations. Any views FICSA wished to present in writing would be distributed to organizations on receipt;
(d) any oral representations by FICSA on agenda items should be taken at the beginning of the session, or at the beginning of the discussion on the particular item concerned, whichever CCAQ found most convenient;
(e) FICSA should receive a copy of the CCAQ report.
(5) At the same session, CCAQ also considered the FICSA request for financial assistance to establish its own staff office, but concluded that this must remain the responsibility of the staff associations. Representational activities by officials who were FICSA officers should, subject to reasonable limitations to be determined by the individual organizations concerned, be considered as official duty. However, no travel expenses or subsistence allowances should be payable in connection with such activities.
(6) A brief mention of the discussions at the 24th session of CCAQ was included in ACC's 28th report to ECOSOC (E/3765, para. 198).
(7) At its 25th session (1964: CO-ORDINATION/R.451, para. 9) CCAQ rejected a suggestion that FICSA views on CCAQ agenda items should be annexed to the CCAQ report.
(8) At its 26th session (1965: CO-ORDINATION/R.488, para. 9) CCAQ decided that it would be undesirable to annex to its report the written observations of FICSA on agenda items.
(9) At its 28th session (1967: CO-ORDINATION/R.604, paras. 14-21) CCAQ designated four organizations to discuss the purpose and forms of staff consultation, in preparation for the 1968 ICSAB session. FICSA was invited (and later agreed) to designate representatives to participate fully in these discussions on the basis of equality.
(10) At its 29th session (March 1968: CO-ORDINATION/R.669, para. 39) CCAQ, on the basis of the Working Party report (CO-ORDINATION/CC.29/R.23), agreed on the text of a report from ACC to ICSAB on the question (CO-ORDINATION/R.669/Add.2).
(11) At the same session, CCAQ examined (CO-ORDINATION/R.669, para. 39) a FICSA request that it should be represented at meetings of ECPA. CCAQ felt that the nature of ECPA's work was technical, and did not normally lend itself to consultation between ECPA and staff representatives. CCAQ agreed that FICSA should receive the documentation for ECPA meetings and would be willing to receive FICSA's comments on these when ECPA questions were dealt with on the CCAQ agenda. CCAQ would, where appropriate, transmit these views to ECPA. This would not preclude ECPA from deciding to hear staff representatives if it judged that to be desirable.
(12) The report of the Working Party (CO-ORDINATION/CC.29/R.33) was used by the 29th session of CCAQ (March 1968) as the basis for a report on the subject to the XVth session of ICSAB (see CO-ORDINATION/R.669/Add.2). The Board was unable to reach conclusions at the XVIth session and its report (ICSAB/XVI/1) asked a number of specific questions which were dealt with in a further report agreed by the 30th session of CCAQ in 1969 (CO-ORDINATION/R.733/Add.3).
(13) At its XVIIth session, ICSAB gave its views on various aspects of management/staff relations (see ICSAB/XVII/1). It said inter alia that (a) each organization should have some institutional machinery to ensure steady contact between management and staff; (b) there were serious disadvantages in a proposal made by FICSA to establish a joint management/staff inter-agency body; (c) the question of staff access to a legislative body was for that body to decide, but the Board was unable to agree that FICSA should have the opportunity to set the staff case before ACABQ and the UN Fifth Committee; (d) the idea of binding arbitration was not entirely consonant with the international legislative process and it should be possible to avoid recourse to outside parties to resolve disputes.
(14) At its 30th session (March 1969: CO-ORDINATION/R.733, paras. 82-90) CCAQ again considered the status of staff representatives attending FICSA or certain inter-organization meetings. It noted that an ILO study of relevant national practice was expected in 1970. With ICAO dissenting it agreed that:
(a) as regards status, staff representatives attending meetings of FICSA, ICSAB, ECPA or working parties thereof should, provided they had been excused from their normal duties or were using their own time for the purpose, be treated for Staff Rules purposes as though they were on duty, except that organizations should not bear any related travel or subsistence expenses;
(b) members of the Executive Committee of FICSA should, subject to the exigencies of the service, be granted special leave with pay, normally not exceeding 15 days per year per member, for the duration of the FICSA Council and Executive Committee;
(c) for attendance of other staff representatives at the FICSA Council, ILO, FAO, UNESCO and WHO should each allot 20 man-days of official time, subject to appropriate reduction when a representative already had an allotment under (b). The United Nations agreed to apply reasonable limits in relation to these figures, but was unable to fix a specific limit as a result of the number of semi-autonomous organizations which the UN representation had to cover. For the other organizations an allotment of 5 man-days should normally suffice;
(d) for staff representation at ICSAB and CCAQ the overall allotment of man-days of special leave should be three times the number of working days in the sessions concerned. FICSA should inform the CCAQ Secretariat of its proposed representation as far in advance as possible so that appropriate measures could be arranged by the organizations concerned;
(e) the allotments were exclusive of travel time but wherever possible travel during official time should be avoided.
(15) At its 31st session (1970: CO-ORDINATION/R.798, para. 39), CCAQ had before it a report (CCAQ/S.31/R.12) on organization practices in this matter. It was informed that ILO was making a technical study of national government practices in the same field. This was to be available by 1971. The Committee therefore agreed to defer consideration of the matter until its 32nd session.
(16) At the same session CCAQ recommended to ACC that the Chairman of ACC should reply to the Chairman of ACABQ in the terms set out in Annex F to CO-ORDINATION/R.798 in answer to a question on FICSA representation before ACABQ.
(17) At its 33rd session (March 1971: CO-ORDINATION/R.863, para. 29) CCAQ agreed that the establishment of the Special Committee for the Salary Review would involve staff representatives in extra work. During the Special Committee's life each organization should use its discretion in deciding how much official time to allow staff representatives, on the understanding that reasonable limits would not be exceeded. The matter would be reviewed by CCAQ, probably in 1972, in the light of the conclusions of the ILO Joint Committee on the Public Service.
(18) At its XIXth session (June 1971: ICSAB/XIX/1, paras. 6-22) ICSAB reviewed developments in management/staff relationships (see para. (13) above) and commented on or made recommendations concerning:
(a) levels at which consultations should take place;
(b) FICSA representation before ACABQ;
(c) FICSA equivalence to employee representatives in national administrations;
(d) approval by an executive head of statutes of a staff association;
(e) joint bodies;
(f) staff participation in overall management of an organization.
(19) At its 35th session (March 1972: CO-ORDINATION/R.931, para. 37 and Annex F), CCAQ (with ILO reserving its position) with respect to the views expressed by ICSAB at its XIXth session, agreed with the Board that:
(a) comparisons with national services could not be conclusive in the determination of the form of management/staff relations, or methods of resolving disagreements, in the international service, if only because national practices varied so widely;
(b) there was an essential distinction between, on the one hand, those terms of the statutes of a staff association which gave effect to the right to organize and, on the other hand, the duty of the executive head to ensure that the staff body, or bodies, with which he dealt was properly representative.
(20) At its 37th session (March 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, para. 52) CCAQ discussed whether organizations should recognize or deal with local inter-organization staff federations which were not clearly branches of FICSA. Discussion between CCAQ and FICSA having failed to lead to a clear division between local and central issues, CCAQ agreed that there was, for the time being, no alternative to a pragmatic approach under which representations from the local inter-organization groups of staff associations (or staff where these are too few to form separate associations) should be receivable by the responsible local management and that where they deal with purely local matters they may be settled at the local level. Local groups should not, however, have the right to make direct representations to executive heads or ACC/CCAQ. If they wished to raise matters of general importance they should do so through FICSA; alternatively, each separate local staff association, or branch of a staff association, could raise general matters through its Headquarters (or central) association.
(21) During its meetings concurrent with the 22nd session of ICSAB in July 1974, CCAQ, at the request of ACC, examined again with FICSA the subject of management-staff relations and prepared a special report to ACC on the subject (CCAQ/SEC/336(PER), Annex). It also decided to convene a joint working party with FICSA prior to the 41st session of CCAQ to examine certain aspects of the subject in more detail for report to the 41st session (1975).
(22) The Joint Working Party (see para. (21) above) presented its report to CCAQ at that 41st session. CCAQ decided that the report represented a valuable reference document on management/staff relations and should have wide circulation (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 103 to 105 and Addendum 1).
(23) At the same session, CCAQ considered but rejected a request from FICSA for a subvention from the organizations. CCAQ concluded that such a subvention, in substitution of what was an obligation of constituent associations, was not acceptable in principle nor, in the long run, in the interest of FICSA (CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, paras. 106 and 107).
(24) With the authorization of CCAQ (at its 41st session, 1975) the staff counsellors of the organizations met in June 1975 and submitted a report to the special session of August 1975. The report was well received and CCAQ agreed that it was good for such groups to meet from time to time to exchange information and views (CO-ORDINATION/R.1113, para. 40).
(25) At its 43rd session (March 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1145, para. 31 and Add.2) CCAQ agreed - with FICSA participating - comments for the forthcoming review by ACC (at its April 1976 session) of its relationship with FICSA. ACC at its 67th session (April 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1161, para. 115) confirmed its decision that "whenever it took up at regular sessions questions of specific concern to the staff within the context of the common system, representatives of FICSA would be invited to present their views" (see CO-ORDINATION/R.1115, para. 14).
(26) At its 67th session (1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1161, para. 117), ACC also asked the UN to draft guidelines that would form a "code of conduct" for organizations faced with the problem of work stoppages or other forms of job action.
(27) At its resumed 44th session (September 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1176, paras. 14 and 15 and annex IV), CCAQ adopted draft ACC comments on the JIU report regarding the strike at the UN Geneva Office in February-March 1976 (JIU/REP/76/6), in particular on the three JIU recommendations affecting the common system of salaries and allowances. (The approved ACC text was issued as A/31/137/Add.1.)
(28) The General Assembly, in resolution 31/193 B of 22 December 1976, inter alia prescribed that no salary should be paid to staff members for periods of unauthorized absence unless for reasons beyond their control or for duly certified medical reasons.
(29) ICSC reviewed the JIU report at its 5th session (February-March 1977: ICSC/R.77, paras. 115-122; see also UN document A/32/30, paras. 193-204). It concluded inter alia that it was not within its competence to make a study of the right of international civil servants to strike.
(30) In comments on the third annual report of ICSC (1977) (UN document A/32/30), adopted in draft form by CCAQ at the second part of its 47th session (October 1977), ACC expressed the view that the pace at which the review of the elements of the UN salary system was being carried out would need to be adjusted to take account of the capacity of the organizations to participate in it. It accordingly suggested that, when assigning to ICSC any tasks in the regulation and co-ordination of conditions of service, the General Assembly take into account their administrative implications for all the organizations (CO-ORDINATION/R.1237/Add.1, Annex II; issued in final form as UN document A/32/362).
(31) A joint CCAQ/FICSA Working Party on Staff-Management Relations met in August 1979 and presented a report to the 51st session of CCAQ (CCAQ/PER/R.98). CCAQ took note of the report (ACC/1979/R.55, paras. 34-35) and agreed to pursue the issues reported on at an early session.
(32) At its 52nd session (Part I, January-February 1980; ACC/1980/4, paras. 61-63) CCAQ considered a proposal by FICSA that the President and General Secretary of the Federation should be released full-time from their normal duties, and their salaries and allowances continue to be paid by their organizations. While larger organizations might be able to absorb the consequences of releasing staff representatives, it might be necessary to envisage some form of cost-sharing arrangement in respect of Federation officials coming from smaller organizations. CCAQ recognized the need to grant officers of the Federation all possible facilities to enable them to carry out their duties responsibly. The problem alluded to by FICSA not having arisen, the Committee agreed to revert to it at such time when it did. The principle of full-time release from duties for the two officers of FICSA was reaffirmed.
(33) At its 56th session (March 1982: ACC/1982/5, paras. 105-108), CCAQ was requested by ICAO to agree to cost-sharing arrangements which would permit the release of one of its staff members to serve as General Secretary of FICSA. There was no consensus on the principle of cost sharing, but CCAQ agreed (with UNESCO, UPU and WIPO reserving their positions) that the costs of the two staff members seconded to serve in FICSA should be borne by all the organizations, the exact modalities to be worked out by CCAQ(FB).
(34) A joint CCAQ/FICSA Working Party on Staff-Management Relations met in January 1982 and presented a report to the 56th session of CCAQ (ACC/1982/5, Annex VII). CCAQ took note of the report.
(35) Beginning at its 56th session (March 1982: ACC/1982/5) CCAQ had been confronted with a request to participate in its work from the Coordinating Committee of Independent Civil Service Unions and Associations (CCISUA). CCAQ was unable to accede to this request, initially because it lacked
complete information about the Coordinating Committee, and then because the request appeared to pose the problem of criteria for admission of staff representatives to CCAQ. A Working Party met in January 1983 and elaborated such criteria for CCAQ's consideration.
(36) At its 58th session (March 1983: ACC/1983/9) CCAQ considered the report of the Working Party and agreed on criteria for participation of staff representative bodies in CCAQ and ACC, which it recommended to ACC. In the meantime, and noting that CCISUA had been admitted to participate on an ad hoc basis in the work of ICSC, CCAQ agreed that it might be admitted to participate in the work of CCAQ. The CCAQ secretariat elaborated guidelines on procedures to be followed in meetings in order to ensure the efficient disposal of its business (ACC/1983/9, Annex V).
(37) ACC, at its first regular session in 1983, took note of the recommendations of CCAQ (Decision 1983/3).
(38) At its 59th session (July 1983: ACC/1983/18), CCAQ agreed to inform ICSC that it was up to that body to determine the manner in which it wished to have the staff representatives' views heard, bearing in mind the requirements of its statute.
(39) At its 61st session (June-July 1984: ACC/1984/16, paras. 126-129), CCAQ examined a request by FICSA that CCAQ explore ways in which the travel costs of attendance of its officers at meetings of ICSC and ACPAQ could be financed on an inter-agency basis. While there was some support in principle for the idea of providing a contribution toward the travel expenses of staff representative groups required to be represented by virtue of the ICSC statute or the guidelines for access to CCAQ and ACC, the matter required further examination. The matter could be raised again at an appropriate time.
(40) Also at its 61st session (ACC/1984/16, paras. 84-89), CCAQ took note of the report of the staff counsellors of the UN system who had met in June 1984, further to a decision by CCAQ at its 59th session. The Committee concluded that (a) the problems dealt with by the staff counsellors and the importance of their functions justified their meeting at more frequent intervals (every 3 or 4 years). It requested the Secretary to raise the matter in 2 years' time, with a view to setting the date of the next meeting; (b) many of the issues dealt with by the counsellors required very close collaboration with the personnel divisions and medical services of the organizations.
(41) At its 63rd session (June-July 1985: ACC/1985/14, paras. 120-122), CCAQ agreed on an ad hoc arrangement similar to the one of 1982 (see para. (33)), it being understood that organizations whose staff were represented by FICSA would participate in the cost-sharing arrangement in an appropriate proportion. After CCAQ(FB) had expressed some dissenting views concerning the modalities of that ad hoc arrangement (ACC/1985/17, paras. 7-8), the CCAQ(PER) agreement was upheld by the Organizational Committee, acting on behalf of ACC (ACC/1985/21, para. 33).
(42) At its 64th session (March 1986), CCAQ agreed, in respect of a further request for cost-sharing in respect of the release of a FICSA officer, that if organizations required assistance in making staff available for positions in staff representative organizations, this could be provided, but on a strictly ad hoc, case-by-case basis. Cost-sharing arrangements would be on the basis of organizations whose staff were represented by the staff representative body. The actual cost-sharing mechanism would be determined by CCAQ(FB) (ACC/1986/3, para. 4). Following further discussion of the subject by CCAQ(FB) at its 64th and 65th sessions (see section 1.2) it was agreed that any future arrangements would be the subject of consultation between the Chairmen of the two components of CCAQ.
(43) At its 69th session (July 1988: ACC/1988/12, paras. 136-138) CCAQ expressed regret at the decision of FICSA and CCISUA to suspend participation in the work of ICSC. In response to a FICSA request that a small group of administration and staff representatives meet to discuss the problem, the Committee concluded that aspects of the request needed clarification, and asked for a more detailed proposal.
(44) CCISUA subsequently decided to participate, on a provisional basis, in the working group established by ICSC for the comprehensive review of conditions of service for the Professional and higher categories (A/44/30, vol. I, para. 20).
(45) At its 70th session (March 1989: ACC/1989/6, paras. 95-100) CCAQ considered proposals by FICSA, made available to ACC in October 1988, which suggested inter alia the establishment of a small working group of organizations and staff "to explore the possible shape of a mechanism for negotiations at the level of the common system between employers and employees". The Committee noted that the bodies mainly authorized to take decisions on staff matters were the General Assembly and the organizations' governing bodies, and that one consequence of the FICSA proposal would be to eliminate ICSC; it considered that the proposal threatened the common system. It urged FICSA to reconsider its proposal.
(46) The Secretary-General's decision not to implement the salary scale recommended in 1990 by ICSC for the General Service category in New York is reported in section 2.3.
(47) Reporting in 1991 to the General Assembly on its functioning, ICSC agreed with ACC that it would not be appropriate to pursue proposals by FICSA for the negotiation of conditions of service of staff in the common system (A/46/30, vol. II, para. 48).
(48) At its 79th session (July 1993: ACC/1993/22, paras. 119-121) CCAQ considered a request from FICSA to allow for the full-time release of its Vice-President, so as to ensure that its offices in Geneva and New York were covered by a senior secretariat staff member. CCAQ decided to revert to the matter at its next session and requested its secretariat to prepare a full study of staff representation in the common system. At its 80th session (February 1994: ACC/1994/4, para. 114), after studying the background of inter-agency arrangements governing staff representation, CCAQ concluded that it could not recommend an extension of the current arrangements for the release of FICSA's officers.
(49) At its 82nd session (April 1995: ACC/1995/5, paras. 158-160) CCAQ noted that JIU had recently issued a request to organizations and staff bodies and considered that the JIU review might be counter-productive and damaging to staff/management relations. The Secretary would provide an analysis of questions which could be answered on a common system basis. The Committee suggested that the joint ACC/CPC meeting should review the JIU work programme.
(50) At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, paras. 12-13) CCAQ considered a proposal by FAO to share among those organizations represented by FICSA, the costs of release of its President and General Secretary. CCAQ reaffirmed its position that cost-sharing arrangements could be considered, on a strictly ad hoc basis, after consulting with CCAQ(FB) and taking into consideration the amount involved and the ability of the organization(s) concerned, based on their size or other factors, to absorb them.
(51) At its third high level meeting (February 1998: ACC/1998/CCAQ-HL/9, para. 14) CCAQ-HL considered occasionally organizing sessions with the staff representatives to allow for a free exchange of views on staff matters under review, without prejudice to the staff representatives invitation to attend ACC meetings.
(52) At the meeting of a high-level Task Force in Vienna (October 2000: ACC/2000/CCAQ-HL/5, para. 14) the group considered that the introduction of a dialogue with representatives of the staff bodies (FICSA and CCISUA) on concerns of a system-wide nature should feature on the agenda of the regular sessions of the High Level Committee on Management (HLCM). To this end, it recommended that, as soon as possible after its creation, HLCM establish contacts with the staff bodies to confirm this intention and the context of meaningful dialogue within which it was framed.
(53) At its 5th high-level meeting (October 2000: ACC/2000/CCAQ-HL/6, para. 14) CCAQ-HL adopted the task-force's recommendation which would enable HLCM to assist ACC to enter into a more focussed and meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the staff bodies on matters of system-wide concern when appropriate.
(54) At its first regular session in December 2000 (ACC/2000/24, para. 18) HLCM, in discussions relating to the development of its future work programme, considered that a clarification was warranted in respect of paragraph 5 of its Terms of Reference. The reference to ongoing dialogue with the staff representatives on concerns of a system-wide nature was seen to be a key component of HLCM's future sessions and it therefore requested its secretariat to put forward proposals as to how best fruitful dialogue with staff representatives could be maximized.
(55) At its first meeting (June 2001: ACC/2001/HLCM/7, paras. 28-30) the Human Resources (HR) Network reviewed a project on Staff/Management relations carried out with the support of three MBA students from the Cranfield School of Management. The project had been launched to explore critical systemic issues in staff management relations within the UN family of organizations, concerning, in particular, formal and informal relations between the management and the staff associations. A report, concentrating on a cross-section of UN agencies (UN, UNESCO, WHO, FAO, ILO, UNDP, IFAD), would be presented later in the year detailing their findings with respect to: (a) differences in the management–staff association relations and the implications of these differences among the selected organizations; (b) management attitudes towards staff associations and their impact on employee relations; (c) how the staff rules and regulations were implemented in organizations and how this impacted on employee relations; (d) the effectiveness, benefits and drawbacks associated with each different staff management system; (e) how the external political, social, economic environment in which the management and the staff associations operated, might impact on the formation and execution of the rules and regulations set out by each organization; and (f) the staff consultation role: Did it exist? How did management and the staff associations interpret their role? Was there consultation? Did it assist management? Was management proactive in encouraging consultation? Did the consultation role influence the process or the outcome? Representatives of the organizations to be covered by the study were provided with the questionnaire to be answered by both management and the staff association representatives in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the different perceptions and attitudes among the employees on the various aspects of management–staff relations.
(56) At its September 2001 session (ACC/2001/12, para. 15) HLCM, in order to make discussion with staff representatives more meaningful in the future, decided to invite the representatives of the staff federations to prepare written inputs to its future regular sessions, taking up whatever issues they wished to pursue with the Committee. These documents should be circulated at least two weeks in advance of the Committee's session. For the same purpose the Committee decided to request the secretariat to maintain on-going exchanges with the representatives of FICSA and CCISUA in order to keep them appraised of the work being undertaken by the Committee and to invite UNDP to prepare a short note on other modalities for consultation with the staff representatives - for example in Task Forces or Working Groups - on issues related to the conditions of employment of staff, indicating in particular how such consultative arrangements could further the Committee's strategic approach to the managerial concerns of the organizations.
(57) At its March 2002 session (CEB/2002/3, paras. 23-26 and annex II & III) HLCM took note with appreciation of the timely information received from the staff federations and exchanged views with the staff representatives on the issues raised, in particular, in respect of the reform of the pay and benefits system and also on: (a) the need for mechanisms to deal with cases of harassment – in the broadest definition – of UN system staff, especially in field locations, (b) concerns for the arrangements for the security and safety of locally recruited staff, (c) the need to focus on security arrangements at all locations, not only those in the field, (d) the need to uphold the concept of the international civil service and, in this context, to review the contractual arrangements for core and non-core staff and (e) the costs associated with the Federations' participation, inter alia, in the review of the pay and benefits system and the related request for financial assistance to ensure that this participation was maintained. The Committee recalled the importance it associated with the full participation of the staff representative bodies in the review of the pay and benefits system and hence their ongoing presence at ICSC and the working group sessions related to discussions of this matter. The dynamic discussion on these issues was welcomed by all participants and, although it was not intended to lead to decisions on the Committee's part, the Committee agreed to request the secretariat to prepare for the next session a full picture of the current financial and other support for the Staff Federations.
(58) In connection with the proposals for future consultation with the representatives of the Staff Federations, the Committee expressed its appreciation to UNDP for the helpful proposals contained in document R.3 and took note of the support expressed by the representatives of FICSA and CCISUA for these proposals. It further concluded that HLCM was a management body which was called upon to review a wide range of subject matters and, as such, full-time participation in its sessions would be open only to members of the Committee itself.
(59) At the same session (ibid., paras. 27-28) noting that in accordance with its terms of reference, HLCM was responsible for maintaining an ongoing dialogue with staff representatives on human resources management concerns of a system-wide nature, the Committee agreed that the participation of the staff representative bodies in its work should be pursued as follows: (a) the staff representative bodies would contribute to setting the agenda of HLCM sessions through the submission, no later than 2 months in advance of formally scheduled meetings, of proposals on matters for potential consideration by HLCM. On those items related to conditions of employment, staff welfare, staff safety and security, and other relevant HR issues retained by HLCM for consideration, the Federations would be invited to prepare written inputs for circulation at least two weeks before the date of the session; (b) the Federations would continue to participate as observers in all open sessions of the HR Network; (c) participation as observers in HLCM's work was foreseen as follows: (i) in HLCM Task Forces/Working Groups as appropriate. The Committee foresaw such participation in Task Forces convened to work on matters related to staff security and safety, conditions of employment and other relevant HR issues; (ii) at an early stage in HLCM sessions in order to allow for a full exchange in respect of the issues raised on the agenda of each session; (iii) in HLCM discussions at which the conclusions/ recommendations of Task Forces/Working Groups in which the staff federations have participated were being presented; (iv) in other discussions as appropriate and agreed to by the Committee; (d) maintenance of regular communications with the CEB secretariat and, to the extent possible the Chairman and/or Vice-Chairman, in order to keep FICSA's and CCISUA's representatives appraised of the work being undertaken by the Committee, in particular at the conclusion of each HLCM session. In reaching these conclusions, the Committee was cognizant of the importance of trying to ensure the participation of staff at the stage of policy formulation on relevant matters in HLCM, the HR Network and elsewhere.
(60) At its October 2002 session (CEB/2002/5, para. 4, annexes 1 & 2) HLCM, in accordance with its standing procedures, held an exchange of views with the representatives of FICSA and CCISUA on the security and safety of staff, the pay and benefits review, the changing relationship between regular and voluntary funding, greater commonality in health insurance arrangements, as well as on the Noblemaire principle, ICT and emergency preparedness.
(61) At its June 2003 session (CEB/2003/3, paras. 5-7) a presentation was made to HLCM by the representative of FICSA that contained FICSA's views on the Committee's agenda, in particular in relation to the reform of pay and benefits. The presentation also amplified FICSA's request for financial support. At the conclusion of a long and useful exchange of views, HLCM congratulated the FICSA President on his effective presentation and confirmed that it was important to have this item at the beginning of each session. It agreed with FICSA's analysis in respect of the increasing tendency to employ more staff on short-term contracts and expressed appreciation for FICSA's support for treating all UN system staff as internal candidates for vacant posts. It reiterated the importance it attached to an effective consultative process with the staff bodies and the benefits that could accrue from working together on reform issues such as increasing the mobility of staff between organizations of the system and regretted that CCISUA had chosen not to be represented in the dialogue.
(62) In respect of FICSA's request for financial support, HLCM did not consider that a valid business case had yet been made in the request and without commitment, requested FICSA to present a more formal proposal giving details of its programme and budget, incorporating, to the extent possible, an analysis of funding arrangements for each of FICSA's member associations. It decided to invite CCISUA to provide similar information and requested the secretariat, together with a small working group of interested agencies, to assist FICSA and CCISUA with these presentations and further requested that the staff bodies submit such requests to HLCM through the HR and FB networks.
(63) At its 6th Session (October 2003: CEB/2003/5, paras. 5-7) HLCM discussed various issues with the representatives of the staff bodies and, in particular, (a) the safety and security of staff, including a request by the staff bodies to participate in working groups of IASMN; (b) domestic partnerships; and (c) inter-agency mobility, including a request that greater attention be paid to mobility of locally recruited staff at the same duty station. Further to his presentation at the fifth session of the Committee, the President of FICSA brought forward a more extensive proposal for financial support for the Federation. The Committee (i) thanked the representatives of the staff bodies for their active engagement with the Committee; (ii) took note of the information presented by FICSA in respect of financial support but reiterated its request that such requests be forwarded through the HR and FB Networks; and (iii) requested CCISUA, together with FICSA and in consultation with the CEB secretariat, to put together both a comprehensive document outlining the totality of their budgets and a full rationale for any requests for cost-sharing in support of those budgets, as well as the time frame within which such support would be required.
(64) At its 7th session (March 2004: CEB/2004/3, paras. 53-54) HLCM discussed various issues with the representatives of the staff bodies and, in particular, (a) domestic partnerships, including the emphasis placed on the need for a common system approach and offers of assistance for the staff associations to be involved in work on this issue, (b) reform of the pay and benefits system, including an indication from the Federation that it would voice its reservations on the introduction of broadbanding at the forthcoming session of ICSC, (c) introduction of the SMS, with a suggestion that such management development efforts were required at all levels in organizations, (d) mobility, (e) security, including the need for zero tolerance of failure to follow the appropriate security rules and procedures, and a proposal from the Coordinating Committee to circulate proposals on how the security of the UN system should be improved, and (f) hazards and hazard pay. The Committee thanked the representatives of the staff bodies for their active engagement with the Committee and, in particular, the support voiced for certain initiatives such as the draft policy statement for the Board on the issue of domestic partnerships, took note of the information that the FICSA intended to revert to the Committee on the issue of financial support in due course and requested the representatives of the staff bodies to work with the CEB secretariat to identify focused priorities for presentation to the Board so as to ensure a constructive discussion on those issues where the staff bodies were seeking specific CEB support, with accompanying written statements with more detail as necessary.
(65) At its 8th session (October 2004: CEB/2004/6, paras. 5-6) HLCM discussed various issues with the representatives of the staff bodies and, notably, (a) the safety and security of staff, in particular the proposals of the Secretary General on a strengthened and unified security management system, (b) measures to improve mobility across the UN system including a request by the staff bodies that greater attention be paid to mobility of locally recruited staff at the same duty station when considering the new inter organization mobility accord, (c) the Report of the Panel on the Strengthening of the International Civil Service, (d) personal status of staff members for purposes of entitlements, and (e) the introduction of the SMS including how it was planned to filter the acquired competencies of high level managers downwards throughout the system. The Committee thanked the representatives of the staff bodies for their active engagement and dialogue with the Committee and, in particular, their support for a number of initiatives such as a strengthened security management system and the inter organization mobility accord and agreed that both FICSA and CCISUA should participate in future meetings of IASMN. The Committee took note of the staff bodies' request that on mobility issues the Committee consider (i) impediments to inter agency mobility of local staff at the same duty station and (ii) the feasibility of short term exchanges of Professional and General Service staff as part of career development initiatives. The Committee also took note of the information that FICSA intended to revert to the Committee on the issue of financial support in due course. It repeated its request that the representatives of the staff bodies work with the CEB secretariat to identify focused priorities for presentation to the CEB (see para. (64) above).
(66) At its 9th session (April 2005: CEB/2005/3, paras. 4-5) HLCM had a fruitful dialogue with the representatives of FICSA and CCISUA on the following issues: (a) the safety and security of staff, in particular the restructuring of the new United Nations Security Directorate, the importance of providing funding for security and the recruitment of staff for the Directorate; (b) the report of the Panel on the Strengthening of the International Civil Service; (c) the introduction of the Senior Management Network, including how it was planned to filter the acquired competencies of high-level managers downwards throughout the system; (d) reform of General Service job classification; and (e) support provided by administrations for staff representation, including training and other measures which could serve to enhance relations and understanding between staff representatives and line managers and to reinforce the morale and confidence of staff. Responding to the concern that the development of managerial skills was required at all levels of staff and therefore should not be limited to the senior level, it was emphasized that the envisaged leadership programme was only one way of strengthening management capacity in the common system. The intention was not to create an elitist group; rather, the focus of the project on the senior management level was fully in line with research findings that an initial focus on the leadership group in organizations impacted positively on the management culture and could have a positive effect on the rest of the staff. The leadership and managerial development tools to be introduced for the Service were expected to cascade to other groups of staff and improve overall organizational performance. The Committee (a) expressed its thanks to the representatives of the staff bodies for their active engagement and dialogue with the Committee; (b) took note of the intention of FICSA to revert to the Committee on the issue of financial support in due course; and (c) agreed that consultations with staff were essential for effective management reform.
(67) At the same meeting (ibid., paras. 63-66) HLCM considered the results of a survey on the practices of organizations with regard to staff participation in the inter-agency games and financial support to participating staff. Responses to the request for information had been received from 24 organizations, of which 21 reported that their staff participated in the inter-agency games. All organizations which reported staff participation in the games confirmed that participants were granted paid leave for the period of participation, ranging from one day to three days. Of the 21 participating organizations, 10 provided financial support to the participants, either from their administrative or regular budgets or through a staff welfare fund. In 4 organizations, the staff associations also provided financial assistance. Financial support was not provided by 8 of the participating organizations. The Committee discussed the usefulness of harmonizing the approaches of organizations to supporting staff participation in the inter-agency games and agreed to maintain the current practice of individual organizational responsibility for determining the most appropriate way to support staff participation in the inter-agency games.
(68) At its 10th Session (October 2005: CEB/2005/5, para. 5) HLCM conducted an exchange of views with representatives of FICSA and CCISUA on issues related to its agenda, especially:
(a) questions of governance, accountability and transparency,
(b) consultation with staff on security matters, which had reached an unprecedented and welcome level, and
(c) UN Reform and the future of the International Civil Service and, in particular, the need for staff representatives to collaborate in and be a part of the reform process. Appreciation was expressed for the fact that the Committee opened its meetings with a dialogue with the staff representatives which demonstrated the awareness of the Committee of the need to work with staff representatives.
(69) At its eleventh session in Vienna 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/12), the HR Network reiterated the need for strong, positive, productive and transparent staff management relations based on mutual respect, noting that FICSA and CCISUA, in collaboration with the CEB Secretariat, would design a survey on best practices in staff management relations.
(70) At the HR Network videoconference of May 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/13, paras.11-15) in relation to staff management, it was recalled, , that a questionnaire was to be developed between the CEB Secretariat and FISCA. The parties had met to establish parameters for the exercise, suggesting that a neutral third party – the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) – be included. The HR Network raised concerns about the time it had taken for the parties to meet on this. The HR Network requested that the CEB Secretariat prepare a history of the initiative and that a progress report be submitted in time for the July meeting of the Network.
(71) At its meeting in New York in July 2006 (CEB/2006/HLCM/17, paras.40-44), the HR Network agreed to conduct a survey on staff management relations in the fall 2006. A draft would be prepared by FICSA, CCISUA, and the CEB Secretariat and circulated to members of the HR Network. The survey would establish inventory practices and focus on ‘non-qualitative’ issues. It was possible that training and collaboration with external expertise would be the result of the survey.
(72) At its thirteenth session of March 2007 (CEB/2007/HR/8, paras. 22-27), the HR Network decided to approve the following recommendations that had been developed by the ad hoc group that met on 23 February in Geneva:
(a) To prepare jointly a policy statement reaffirming inter alia the full extent of the formal consultative role and responsibility required of the staff federations as a part of the consultative process enshrined in the ICSC Statute;
(b) To encourage all partners to maximize opportunities for capacity building of both staff and administration representatives in inter-agency activities;
(c) To invite the staff federations further to consider strategies for increasing their membership;
(d) To create a working group of its members to assist CCISUA and FICSA to develop a formal business plan, drawing upon details of its programmers/activities, consultative responsibilities and budget and also incorporating an analysis of funding arrangements from their respective memberships. This business plan would be submitted to the HR and FB Networks and then to HLCM.
(73) At its 14th session in New York (CEB/2007/6, paras.13-15), HLCM welcomed the move of FICSA and CCISUA to coordinate their efforts and considered any move towards a closer union as beneficial to the staff and the UN system.
The Committee also expressed its appreciation to IMO for agreeing to release and fund candidate from IMO for the post of FICSA General Secretary for a two-year term.
On the release and funding of staff representatives, the HR Network would work closely with FICSA with the aim of finding a long-term solution to the issue, and present a proposal to HLCM at its next session.
(74) At the same session (ibid. para.132), HLCM encouraged organizations to submit candidates for the SMNP, to allocate the necessary funds for participation, and to support the programme internally through the most appropriate communication mechanisms.
(75) At the fifteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/17, paras. 53-58), the Network members expressed their strong concern regarding the negative assessment of the SMNP’s first cohort, which took place in November 2007. Many organizations suggested they would not be willing to commit to a re-design as proposed by the Staff College. The HLCM acknowledged the critical importance of addressing the long standing need to improve leadership and management across the United Nations system, to support the present effort to increase system-wide coherence through harmonized business practices, and to promote a common corporate culture with a renewed framework of responsibility, authority and accountability. Consensus emerged on the need to carry out a deeper assessment of the first cohort of the SMNP, in light of the objectives originally set by CEB. It was agreed that a Steering Group would be tasked with the following specific mandates:
• Undertake a comprehensive assessment of the Senior Management Leadership Programme in light of the objectives set by the CEB;
• Examine the various options available to meet such objectives, including a minor re-adjustment of the current Programme; a major re-design as proposed by the Staff College and alternative leadership development tools and modalities, either internally-developed or partly/entirely outsourced;
• Assess the capacity and availability of the Staff College to undertake the implementation of any suggested options;
• Develop recommendations for HLCM, to be considered at an inter-sessional meeting of the Committee.
(76) At its sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 67-69), the HR Network took note of the recommendations from the Steering Group and expressed its support for the revised programme. The main recommendations of the Group were the following:
o The Staff College should redesign the course to focus more on leading change within the UN. The course will focus more on the UN reality and challenges using real life simulations and case studies to support the six leadership and management competencies. The course will maintain the element of “learning” as well as brainstorming and knowledge sharing.
o The expectations of the system should be realigned and better managed. Participants must be better prepared on the course objectives.
o The course will continue to be based on open enrolment, the mandatory element of the course will be reviewed at a later date.
o The Staff College will redesign the course and a Steering Group would be put in place to provide inputs to the College and oversee the redesign of the course. The Staff College expects the redesign to take approximately five months after HLCM approves it.
(77) At the same session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 74-75), the HR Network:
o Acknowledged the importance of staff representation and sought commitment from all organizations in releasing staff when they are elected by the staff federations;
o Called on staff federations to harmonize and be consistent so as not to dilute the “staff voice”;
o Supported option 1 in which the releasing organization pays for the term of office, though some of the smaller organizations insisted that it may be difficult for them to release and fund a staff member to serve with FICSA as they had no replacement capacity.
(78) At its sixteenth session (CEB/2008/5, paras.14-15), HLCM Chair thanked the staff representatives and invited them to stay on for the ensuing agenda item - staff security and safety - in their capacity as members of the recently established Steering Committee for the follow-up to the IPSS report, as well as for the discussion on the Plan of Action for the Harmonization of Business Practices. HLCM encouraged the HR Network to continue its dialogue with the staff associations, and endorsed the Network’s proposal to submit a request to the Joint Inspection Unit to conduct a study on representation and functioning of staff associations within the UN system and in the broad context of staff-management relations, also addressing the issue of release, facilities and funding for its members by their respective administrations. The HR Network would draft proposed terms of reference for such study and submit them to the JIU through the CEB Secretariat.
(79) At its sixteenth session in New York (CEB/2008/5, paras. 59-63), HLCM endorsed the recommendation of the Steering Group, requested HLCM member organizations to come forward to the Staff College to propose representatives in the “Reference Group”, and gave mandate to UNSSC to redesign the Programme as per criteria outlined in document CEB/2008/HLCM/12, in close consultation with the Reference Group, and to provide HLCM with a detailed action plan and budget for its implementation.
(80) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/3, paras.5-7), HLCM welcomed ideas on making staff/management dialogue more meaningful, so that staff and management could work better towards the same objectives, especially during these challenging times; noted that the HR Network was working closely with the Staff Representatives; and, recommended that follow-up on various issues raised continued in that forum.
(81) At its eighteenth session (CEB/2009/6, paras.6-10), HLCM thanked the Staff Representatives for their statements and noted that the Staff Federations were invited to the meetings of the HR Network and actively participated in many of its working groups, as well as in the HLCM Steering Committee on Staff Safety and Security. The Committee proposed to the three Federations to consider forwarding their statements in advance, which would allow the Committee to have a more substantive discussion on a limited number of key issues, to be highlighted and prepared ahead of the meeting. HLCM also encouraged the Federations to consider preparing a joint statement and urged FICSA to submit a business case on their requirements to the HR Network, for its consideration and recommendations.
(82) At its nineteenth session (CEB/2010/3, paras.59-62), HLCM was not in agreement with the proposal for an ad-hoc cost-sharing arrangement among FICSA member organizations for the one-year additional cost of the position of FICSA General Secretary, as it considered that the funding of positions in the Staff Federations was the responsibility of the Federations themselves, when full funding could not be met by the releasing organization.
(83) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.10-11), the HR Network agreed to await the JIU report on staff management relations and use that opportunity to address the topic again of the cost-sharing of the FICSA General Secretary.
(84) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.112-118), the HR Network concluded that it would take the FICSA status report under consideration and requested organizations to review the paper and convey their views to the CEB secretariat.
(85) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/5, paras.9-16), HLCM thanked the Federations for their statements and their usual spirit of collaboration, and invited them back for the discussions on Staff Safety and Security.
Several organizations supported the idea of having more dialogue with the staff representatives, and proposed that HLCM reconsider its level of engagement with the Federations during the sessions, while preserving the prerogative of the Committee as a management body to discuss issues among its members only.
The CEB Secretariat informed that some steps had already been explored to enhance the engagement of the Staff Federations in an improved dialogue, 1) by providing their statements ahead of time before the meeting; and, 2) by suggesting a limited number of key items ahead of the meeting, around which ask HLCM members to prepare a discussion.
The Committee agreed to engage the Staff Federations in an effort towards improved dialogue, and requested the CEB Secretariat to undertake discussions with them on the possible modalities towards such objective, including the possibility of preparing an agenda along which to conduct the dialogue, based on suggestions from HLCM Networks, Committee members and the Staff Federations themselves.
(86) At the 21th session of HLCM (CEB/2011/3, paras.13-19), following the agreement at its 20th session, to identify modalities for an improved dialogue between HLCM and the Staff Federations, the CEB Secretariat undertook consultations with members of the three Federations and developed draft Terms of Reference for a re-designed Dialogue. The draft Terms of Reference were subsequently shared with HLCM members and the Staff Federations and revised taking into account comments received.
The draft Terms of Reference provided for a dialogue that may take the following form: a) Staff Federations would be invited to present statements in advance, and to read them during the session; b) Staff Federations would be invited on an ad-hoc basis to participate, in an observer capacity, in the discussions of subjects on the regular agenda that were of particular interest to the Staff; c) HLCM Networks, Committee members and Staff Federations could suggest additional discussion on a small number of items identified and agreed in advance of the meeting.
HLCM thanked the representatives of the three Staff Federations for their statements and their spirit of collaboration. It took note of the comments regarding the proposed Terms of Reference for improved dialogue between HLCM and the Staff Federations and requested the CEB Secretariat to undertake further consultations before finalizing the ToRs.
(87) At its twenty second session (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 16-17), the HR Network expressed its concern with the content of paragraph 2.1 of the HLCM Terms of reference about its dialogue with staff federations and requested the CEB Secretariat and co-Chairs to draft new text, to reflect the observer status of the Staff Federations participating in HLCM technical bodies.