The Staff Union works too have staff-friendly and staff-oriented common services in the VIC
Functioning of the joint bodies
The UNSU Vienna, together with the other staff unions and associations of the VIC, defended the role of the joint advisory committees for the various common services: catering, garage, commissary and child care centre. The administrations of the VBOs, under their Committee on Common Services, wanted to change the functioning, terms of reference and reporting line of the joint advisory committees. The four staff council Presidents of the Vienna International Staff Association Committee (VISAC) argued that even tough changes may have been necessary to improve the work of the joint advisory committees, these needed to be discussed with staff representatives because of the very nature of the joint committees: i.e. composed of staff and administration representatives.
Also, the staff councils argued that the common services in question, contrary to other administration-only common services such as security and building management, were services for which staff working at the VIC paid for and there was a need to represent their interests as clients.
In November 2008, a VIC-wide staff survey was conducted for all staff members of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), IAEA, UNIDO and UNOV requesting their views on the services available in the VIC (banks, insurance, travel and other services). Responses were received from 1,134 staff members. In addition, questions were asked on the IAEA/UNIDO and UNOV/CTBTO Staff Services Offices in an effort to better serve the contributing members of those staff associations. The importance of determining which services are desired by staff members in the VIC is to help the staff councils to determine how to better allocate space. Clearly, services that are in high demand should be given more space in the VIC over services that are less popular. It is the view of the four VIC-based staff councils that existing services that staff wish to keep should be put through a bidding process so as to obtain the best vendors willing to make the best offers to staff members working at the VIC. The staff councils should look into those services that are desired but that are not currently available with the aim of making them available in the future.
A new Bank
After carrying out a survey of staff on the functioning of commercial services in the VIC, the Staff Unions of the VIC asked the Administrations to take the necessary steps to have a new bank in the VIC. A request for expression of interest for the establishment of a new bank in the VIC will be made public soon and it is hoped that it will lead to a full-fledged bidding exercise.
UNFCU would be the ideal bank for staff because it is our credit union. However, its services are limited at the moment. The Staff Union has asked the management of UNFCU for an indication of when the UNFCU will be operational outside the US and in Austria. All depends on a decision to be taken by the credit union control authority of the United States Government based in Washington and the time line for this decision cannot be predicted. It must be recognized, however, that, despite these limitation, the UNFCU has been increasing its financial and advisory services to staff members.