Our communication, as well as our “manchette” on this subject, raised many questions from staff, the most important being:

What is it about?
The salaries of international civil servants are decided by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), taking into account three main factors: (a) the methodology, (b) the cost of living survey, and (c) the index applied in New York.

a) The methodology was modified prior to the launch of the survey, but we do not know exactly what impact this change has had on the proposed reduction.
b) The cost of living survey conducted in October 2016 shows a deflation of 1% at our duty station. This is due to the real economic situation in Geneva and is reflected in the choice of companies where prices were collected, data on rentals and education costs. Moreover, the participation in the survey of many civil servants living in France (20% of those who participated in the survey) amplified the negative impact on the result. The February 2017 report therefore suggested a 3.8% decrease in the post adjustment.
c) The inflation in New York is 10% and the result of the NY cost of living survey results in a wage increase of only 2%, meaning a significant difference of 8%. Usually, any salary increase in New York is automatically passed on to Geneva. However, since the loss of purchasing power is too great, it appears that the proposal aims to harmonize the two duty stations by taking into account the loss of purchasing power and not by raising the wage by 2%.

How do we know the decrease will be 7.5%?
The CCISUA, the federation to which the ILO Staff Union is affiliated, participated in the meeting organized last week in New York where the proposal was made.

Is this a reduction of the total salary or a reduction of the post adjustment?
This is a reduction of the total wage, an unprecedented decrease that, in the Staff Union’s view, added to the decline in the compensation package decided by the United Nations General Assembly, is undermining many civil servants.

When is this measure likely to come into effect?
As this proposal does not require a decision by the General Assembly, the ICSC wished an immediate entry into force with a gradual reduction between April and July 2017. It appears that this measure will enter into force next August with a 5% reduction, with progressive reductions until November 2017.

What can we do?
All the staff associations and unions of Geneva agencies will be present at the meeting convened at the Palais des Nations on Thursday, April 6th, at 1.30 p.m. At present, the Staff Union proposes to:
1) Transmit a joint letter from all staff associations and unions to ICSC;
2) Ask the ICSC for a clear explanation of the reasons for this proposal.
A greater mobilization cannot be ruled out. It is imperative that staff come to understand the current situation, contribute to the action plan, be heard and give mandate to their representatives, in order to take all necessary measures to counter this proposal. Help us to help you and be present in large numbers at this meeting.