New payroll deduction from staff to fund establishment of additional legal posts - SAY NO and OPT OUT
Published on Friday, 7 March 2014
You will have seen a broadcast from the Administration advising you of a new internal tax of 0.05 percent of your salary to help fund the Office of Staff Legal Assistance (OSLA), a body which provides legal advice and representation to staff to contest administrative decisions against them.
The Administration has been instructed to arrange for the automatic monthly payroll deductions from staff members' net base salary, unless staff inform them that they wish to opt out of this mechanism. The tax will begin with the April payroll.
This move marks the first time that the Organization had set up an entity and then asked staff to contribute to its funding. This sets a dangerous precedent, and for the many reasons outlined in the joint message from all staff unions of the UN system we encourage you to exercise your right to opt out from the tax by sending an e-mail as instructed in the broadcast from the Administration.
As indicated in the earlier message from the Administration dated 4 February 2014, "staff members who opt out of the scheme will continue to have access to OSLA's services during the experimental period, and the Office will continue to enjoy operational independence." Therefore YOU ARE COVERED. Additionally, all dues-paying members of our Staff Union can request legal assistance provided by the lawyer contracted by the Staff Union. He is an expert in UN rules and regulations, and provides advice on general legal issues, including the submission, representation and management of staff members' cases in the United Nations Administration of Justice system.
We hope that if enough staff choose to opt out, the General Assembly, which set up the tax, may decide that this contribution scheme is not feasible.