Program of Work

UNSU Leadership Strategy 2017-2019
1 April 2017 to 31 March 2019

The programme of work proposed for the biennium 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2019 is based on the aims and objectives of the Statute and Regulations of the United Nations Staff Union for programs and activities necessary for the advancement and promotion of the rights, interests, and welfare of staff at the UN Secretariat in New York and associated Staff Associations.

A. BACKGROUND

Reform of the UN is necessary if it is to remain relevant to the objectives of Member States and for it to be responsive to the mandates of the General Assembly. Yet, the paucity of information related to the ongoing reform has created an environment of uncertainty and anxiety for our colleagues that have led to low staff morale and lack of motivation.

Much of this has resulted from poor communication, lack of consultation, or a combination of both by Management. It is the work of the UNSU to bridge this gap and engage with both management and staff members to provide correct, updated and relevant information and to guide our colleagues in navigating the bureaucracy of internal justice, compensation and benefits, rights and responsibilities, and work-life balance.

Within the structure of the UNSU, these responsibilities (Statutes and Regulations 10.1 to 10.9) lie with the duly elected leadership and staff representatives. While the leadership is tasked with leading, managing and representing the Union at the level of senior Management, the General Assembly, the ICSC as well as other staff representative bodies, it is the staff representatives who are the first and main point of contact for staff members with the Union—they are the pipelines through which the myriad concerns of staff members are brought together and presented to the Council as a coherent whole for action by the Union.

B) OBJECTIVE

A staff union that is united in purpose and strength is better able to represent and defend colleagues or negotiate with other actors on issues affecting the welfare and conditions of service of all staff members. The objective of the leadership over the next biennium is to strengthen the UNSU through a) mobilization of the staff- at-large throughout the Secretariat in New York and associate staff associations at field duty stations to protect our conditions of service, b) building relationships of influence with management and member state representatives to support staff perspectives, and c) establishing partnerships for coordination of activities for mutual benefit.

To this end, a programme geared towards full engagement of colleagues across the Secretariat and national staff at field duty stations has been formulated based on discussions with, and input from staff representatives. There is agreement that the work and actions of the UNSU must be transparent and that Union leadership and the 45th Staff Council must be held accountable to the colleagues they represent. 

C. PLAN OF ACTION

  1. Outreach and engagement with senior management
    • Representation of staff concerns to senior management
    • Consultation on behalf of staff members
    • Negotiation on issues having a negative impact on staff members
      • Receive information and provide feedback to relevant parties
      • Retain legal counsel for advisory role to Union and, limited representation on key cases of Secretariat-wide import. Consult with experts to enhance technical knowledge on compensation and benefits issues
      • Participation in meetings, committees, sub-committees, working groups and other bodies
  1. Sharing and exchanging information with Member States and other actors with influence
    • Engage with delegates to ACABQ and Fifth Committee to advocate on budgetary matters affecting staff members
    • Advocate with other individual Member States and groupings, as well as UN System actors including the ICSC to elicit support for matters of importance to staff interest, welfare and representation
    • Build support for UNSU through engagement and collaboration with IGOs, NGOs, and other federations of the host country such as AFT.
    • Affiliate with and engage federations of staff associations of the UN Common System, e.g., CCISUA, FICSA, UNISERV;
  1. Maintaining constructive relations with the Staff Council through open and transparent engagement to represent interests of all staff
  • Receive information and provide feedback to the Council
  • Consult with Council members and other colleagues on issues of concern, including for interventions at various fora
  • Collaborate with Council members and staff-at-large on matters pertaining to staff welfare and well-being, including on strategic collective actions for bargaining
  1. Engagement with staff-at-large on all issues
  • Communications and outreach strategy, including social media
  • Training for staff representatives
  • Membership campaign
  • Staff Day activities
  • Staff Relief Committees
  • Awards and ceremonies
  1. Safety and Security
  • Global issues
  • Security Management System