Review of the Common System Compensation Package  

In March 2013, at its seventh-sixth session, the Commission launched a Comprehensive Review of the United Nations common system compensation package to examine all elements of staff compensation together with other HR elements falling under its mandate. The Commissionís goal is a revised compensation system that is coherent, sustainable and addresses the concerns/expectations of its stakeholders - staff, organizations and Member States.

Three working groups, each with a specific focus, were formed to facilitate the Commissionís work. The composition of the working groups, which include Commission members, representatives of the common system organizations and the three global staff federations, provides for the participation of all stakeholders. The three working groups are considering:

(1) The remuneration structure;
(2) Competiveness and sustainability; and
(3) Performance incentives and other human resources issues.

At the beginning of the review, the ICSC secretariat benchmarked the existing compensation package with the comparator civil service and studied the practices of some international organizations. Discussions were held with the executive heads and human resources directors of eighteen common system organisations. In addition, members of the Commission and the secretariat staff had engaged in a two-day retreat, at which speakers from the World Bank, Oxfam, the International Service for Remuneration and Pensions and World at Work were invited to give presentations relating to compensation packages and their reform. A global staff survey was conducted by the Commission secretariat, in the autumn of 2013, with the primary aim of gathering staff views on the current compensation package.

Between November 2013 and June 2014, there were five working group meetings. The working groups completed their initial tasks of studying all aspects of the existing system, with particular reference to the existing comparator civil service (United States of America). The groups also reviewed best practices prevalent elsewhere with a view to exploring their applicability in the common system context. During their meetings the working groups drew on the results of the Global Staff Survey as well as the interviews conducted by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of ICSC with Executive Heads and other senior management personnel in the common system organizations concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the pay and benefits system.

Having completed the exploratory phase, the next step will be to develop a specific outline of the new system while simultaneously finalising pending issues, in particular, the focus would be on expatriate and relocation related allowances, the remuneration structure, including the number of grades and steps, scale compression, consideration of the viability of the proposed structure, maintaining the competitiveness of the common system, the possibility of creating a performance-oriented environment, modifications to the post adjustment system as well as possible improvements in the predictability, transparency, and sustainability of the remuneration structure. The issue of acquired rights of staff and transitional measures will also be discussed.

The Commission will provide a progress report to the General Assembly in the fall of 2014 (A/69/30) with a final report to be presented to the General Assembly at its 70th session in the autumn of 2015.

 

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