Human Rights Council session to go ahead despite UN strike call in Geneva - World - Tibetol

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Human Rights Council session to go ahead despite UN strike call in Geneva
By:Xinhua
update:March 23,2018
GENEVA, Mar. 23, 2018 -- United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meetings will go ahead on Friday despite a call for a second one-day strike in a week by UN staff here to protest wage cuts and deteriorating work conditions.
 
"I continue to engage with those concerned with a view to ensure that basic minimum services be extended to the Council," council president Vojislav Suc said on Thursday.
 
Suc said two or three council meetings may take place at the UN headquarters in Geneva on Friday on the final day of the month-long council session, what is normally a busy day when states vote on human rights resolutions.
 
The UN staff council has called for a second full-day strike on Friday to "protect pay and conditions of service."
 
At the UN's New York headquarters on Monday, members of the staff union staged a protest demonstration over austerity measures and for a greater say in how conditions of service are determined.
 
Meanwhile, striking staff at the UN's Palais des Nations complex here are due to be joined on Friday by personnel from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, the Swiss news agency SDA, reported.
 
This follows a similar strike action a week ago.
 
On March 16, UN staff in Geneva went on strike for the day following a vote by more than 1,000 UN civil servants.
 
Due to that action, the March 16 Human Rights Council session was canceled along with other meetings.
 
The growing strike action follows a "serious and ongoing deterioration in employment conditions due to the decisions of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC)," according to posters in the UN.
 
Since April 2017, UN staff have steadily intensified their protests against plans to slash annual salaries of international civil servants in Geneva, often ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.
 
Staff have said they are particularly unhappy with the ICSC, which last year proposed to lower UN civil servants' pay in Geneva by 5.1 percent.
 
This involved reducing a so-called "post-adjustment index" for professional staff working in the city. The idea came after the ICSC surveyed the cost of living in various UN locations.
 
Around 9,500 staff work for the UN in Geneva at either the Palais des Nations European headquarters or at one of the UN agencies located in the Swiss city, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the ILO.
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