Why you should join the Staff Union

Integrity, security, independence

In the ILO it is up to each individual to decide whether or not to join the Staff Union. Read on to see why we should ail become members.

How can I join?

Anyone who is employed by the ILO can become a member of the Union. It does not matter how long your contract is or what type of contract you have; the Staff Union is open to ail grades and categories. Staff who leave the ILO can remain members by joining the Former Officials’ Section.

How much does it cost ?

The contribution is set at 4.5 per thousand of salary (that is 0.45 percent). There is no limit to what members may contribute in terms of time and ideas.

What are the benefits ?

There are plenty, of course! First of ail, it’s a question of solidarity, of belonging to a community which is fully engaged in serving the fundamental objectives of the Organization. It is also about you as an individual having access to the legal services of the Union should you need to resolve a problem with your chief or with the Administration.

It’s about participating in information and training sessions to better understand your rights and responsibilities. What the Union can do for members depends to a large extent on the efforts of members themselves.

As a member you will be in a position to play a part in shaping your working environment and improving your conditions of employment. One thing is certain: we can achieve more through our joint efforts as members of the Union than each of us would on our own.

What influence does the Staff Union hâve in the ILO ?

The Union is clearly representative – 73% of the staff are unionized – and it has the strength to mobilize members – last November, half of the staff manifested its discontent with the result that an external mediation process was agreed to.

The Staff Union, therefore, can and does have a real influence on decisions on a wide range of issues affecting staff, in particular through its joint bodies such as the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), which negotiates policies, procedures and practices on everything related to our terms and conditions of work. 

This body has negotiated over such issues as: a dispute resolution system, classification procedures, a recruitment and selection procedure, personal and career development, and work-life balance (parental leave, breastfeeding room, etc.). The Staff Union also participates actively in joint sessions on recommendations for titularization and Personal promotions.

Is it really worth joining the Union ?

Working in the ILO, we shouldn’t even ask this question. It may be that in the UN we hâve the tendency to count our good fortune. But our terms and conditions of employment, particularly our salaries and pensions, hâve been deteriorating for a number of years now.

We need strong staff représentation, active in headquarters and the field, not only in the ILO but also in the fédérations of international civil servants if this trend is to be reversed and to defend our conditions of work and employment. It should also be borne in mind that the salaries of some ILO staff, in particular General Service officiais in the held, provide a very low standard of living. But rémunération is not the only issue.

In fact the Union devotes more than half of its time and energy to other matters unrelated – or only indirectly related – to pay and pensions, such as job security, occupational safety and health, staff movements, the mobility policy, spécial problems of staff in the field, job classification, recruitment and sélection, training, career policy and equal opportunity, as well as problems affecting officiais individually.

By being a member, you will be able to take up the issues that are most important to you.