Industrial relations in the UN system

Unions and staff associations of the United Nations system are unique because UN staff do not have a single employer: they are employed by the 193 member states. Because they work for an international agency, they are not protected by any national labour legislation or international conventions. Although freedom of association is written into the UN staff regulations, national unions are not recognised, and terms and conditions are negotiated directly with representatives of the member states. The first collective agreement recognised by the UN system was signed with CCISUA affiliate ILO Staff Union in 2000.
UN Staff Regulation (SR) 8.1 allows for staff representative bodies to be established at each UN organisation or mission and for those bodies to represent the interests of the staff. Each UN mission or organisation has established its own union or staff association, and these are affiliated to either CCISUA or FICSA.