Review of the Common System Compensation Package  


In 2013 the Commission initiated a comprehensive review of the United Nations common system compensation package for staff members in categories P (Professional) and D (director) - the first comprehensive review since 1989. Given the marked changes in the world since the last review - rapid advancements in the use and impact of technology in the workplace and the evolving needs of the UN as a whole - the opportunity and the necessity for change became apparent.


To keep pace with these changes, and continue to provide a supportive and positive workplace, the Commission created three working groups to examine the compensation package. In order to capture the diverse needs of all stakeholders, each group was comprised of Commission members, representatives of the common system organizations, and members of the three global staff federations. Each group focused on a particular aspect of the compensation package, which included:
1. The remuneration structure;
2. Competitiveness and sustainability; and
3. Performance incentives and other human resources issues.

Several steps were taken in order to assure that a comprehensive, equitable, and holistic review was conducted, including:
• Benchmarking the existing compensation package with the comparator civil service (United States)
• Studying the practices of other international organizations
• Discussions with the executive heads and human resources directors of 18 common system organizations
• Administering a global staff survey, which garnered 14,000 responses, providing critical insights on the current compensation package

In addition, members of the Commission and the secretariat staff participated in a two-day retreat with representatives from several external international organizations. Speakers from each organization presented enlightening information on their compensation packages and successes with initiating and implementing change.


After eight working meetings from 2013 to 2015, the groups completed their review of the current system. The result is a revised compensation package that is streamlined, competitive and sustainable. The revised package allows for more flexibility in compensation, particularly with recruitment and performance recognition.

Next Steps

The ICSC Annual Report will be presented to Member States on 10 November 2015, when the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly will start deliberations of the Commission’s recommendations. Once the General Assembly has approved it, the new compensation package will be implemented, providing organizations with time to understand and apply the changes.

To learn more about the proposed changes, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

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