The United Nations Staff Union (UNSU) represents all categories of staff at UNHQ in New York, as well as the national staff at filed duty stations. While the concerns of colleagues at UNHQ are always front and center, many of the problems faced by national staff fall by the wayside because of a combination of distance and lack of communication. From 02-06 July 2017 the UNSU met with Leaders of National Staff Associations (NASA) from 22 field duty stations in Entebbe, Uganda, to discuss and consult on various concerns related to the welfare and conditions of service of the locally-recruited staff in the field.
The event was organized by UNSU with the collaborative engagement and support of Mr. Atul Khare, USG DFS. It focused on cross-cutting issues affecting locally recruited staff in field locations, including: downsizing/ end-of-service package/outsourcing; nationalization of posts; medical insurance plan; status of payment of pension benefits; GSDM; and strengthening of representation via UNSU. The forum provided the opportunity for information sharing and follow-up on the outcomes of a NASA meeting held in 2016.
A parallel conference at the same location from 03-05 July 2017 of DMS/CMS of field duty stations and Mr. Khare facilitated two side meetings: (1) staff representatives with DFS heads of missions and a second meeting with Mr. Khare and Ms. Chhaya Kapilashrami, Director, FPD. The USG described the interaction as historic and reassured national staff representatives that their concerns would be addressed, particularly those related to budget cuts.
The leaders of NASA emphasized the significance of such interactive platforms for confidence building between staff and management and for capacity building of staff representatives. They also highlighted the importance of information sharing and consultations to achieving the goals and objectives of the Organization.