Contractual framework and Future of Work

Some UN Common System organisations have been considering the introduction of new contractual modalities for personnel that would support “a more agile organisation that can rapidly adapt to changing needs and opportunities and scale up and down as needed”.

Our Staff Union, through its former staff federation CCISUA, was represented in the ICSC Working Group on the Review of the Framework for Contractual Arrangements, which was established to review the implementation of the current contractual framework by the organisations and any possible improvements within the current framework. It concluded that the current framework is suitable and provided organisations with enough flexibility.

At the April 2022 meeting of the High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM), it was decided to put this issue to rest and to await the outcome of the ICSC review of the working conditions of staff as required by the General Assembly at its last session.

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However, staff are concerned about the implications of the Commission's 2012 decision which states that organisations are not required to implement all three types of appointments but may do so in any combination. Due to the flexibility provided to organisations, we see a decrease in the number of continuous appointments issued in some organisations, and an excessive increase in the usage of temporary appointments.

The excessive use of such temporary appointments has a bearing on the well-being of staff, who in some organisations are incapacitated to speak-up on misconduct issues for fear of not having their contracts renewed. Staff concerned cannot plan their professional and personal lives on the longer term, affecting their commitment and retention in the organizations concerned.