New Organisational Policy on Downsizing

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An SMC Working Group on Downsizing was established in February 2020 to review prior 2016 SMC agreements with a view to updating them and taking into consideration subsequent developments which resulted after the long delay in policy promulgation.

Our Union had a very active role in this Working Group, co-chairing it as well as driving the agenda and participating in numerous meetings.

Staff unions repeatedly communicated their disappointment that the issuance of the ST/AI on downsizing had been pending since 2016.

The administrative issuance “Downsizing or restructuring resulting in termination of appointments” (ST/AI/2023/1) was finally promulgated effective 20 January 2023.

The policy provides a clear framework for UN Secretariat entities to manage the retention of staff members affected by downsizing or restructuring on a position for which they are suitable, as well as the termination of appointments of those who cannot be retained.

The framework includes the following key elements:

  • Establishment of a Staff-Management Group with equal numbers of staff and management to advise the head of entity and conduct a comparative review of affected staff members.
  • A mechanism for retention within the entity based on a comparative review process that determines the order in which staff members are to be considered for retention for available positions within the entity.
  • A mechanism for priority and non-competitive consideration of downsized staff members when they apply for a job opening or temporary job opening in their category at their current level or level below outside the downsizing entity.