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Arrangements for new staff union elections in New York

You will be aware that elections have not taken place for the United Nations Staff Union (UNSU), which represents UN Secretariat staff in New York, within the period required by the Staff Regulation 8.1(b) of two years. Further, the elections that took place in December 2013 were contested.

The impasse surrounding the situation has since prevented the holding of new elections, during which time the effectiveness of staff representation has been undermined.

We believe that given the arrival of a new Secretary-General and a heavy reform agenda, having a newly-elected union in place as early as possible in 2017 is essential.

Given the difficult history surrounding past elections in New York and in light of a vote by a significant number of New York staff requesting that CCISUA (Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations – and UNISERV staff federations organize elections, and also noting that the terms of office of the bodies that would normally ensure elections in New York are now expired with no apparent legal means of re-establishing them, we will undertake the following:

  • CCISUA and UNISERV will elect a college of polling officers and arbitration committee members from among their global union membership, and contract a recognized firm to carry out electronic voting.
  • The polling officers will receive the names of eligible voters from the Department of Management, carry out the apportionments, call for candidates and carry out elections for unit representatives, unit chairs and the leadership.
  • The Arbitration Committee will settle any disputes relating to these elections.
  • The elections will be carried out in line with UNSU’s statutes and regulations, adapted during a transitional period to integrate the above arrangements. The transitional statutes, cleared by the Office of the Legal Adviser as being compliant with the Staff Rules can be found here. It should be noted that the sole purpose of these transitional statutes is to enable the organization and completion of the 2017 first quarter elections. They will not confer on CCISUA nor UNISERV a mandate to speak directly for UNSU nor to directly represent staff in New York in dealings with management or other parties.

We expect the elections to be completed by early March.

We will provide you with regular updates with the aim of ensuring transparency and confidence in the process.