Still "Stronger Together"
Mark, Leila and Lilyia have worked tirelessly over the last two years to assist colleagues during an ongoing global pandemic. Even though working from quarantine for much of the time, results have still been achieved.
Recognizing that Health and Well-Being are extremely important factors that are particularly challenging in our field entities, and realizing that in particular mental health during the pandemic for our staff was becoming a crucially important issue, the current UNFSU executive has been extremely proactive in advocating for adequate health facilities and to address mental health issues as well.
To that end, the UNFSU has been carrying out regular surveys to understand better the levels of anxiety and well-being of staff in our field entities. The data collected through these surveys formed the basis of important discussions with senior management representatives.
The UNFSU has been actively engaged both in the UN system-wide mental health strategy board, as well as the UN Secretariat mental health implementation team. Always ensuring that the strategies and implementation plans are field focussed and that policies are fit for the field.
We have additionally sought out external partners in universities and other research institutes both to assist us with the interpretation of the data and to provide us with valuable information on issues such as PTSD and other serious issues that we believe are underreported and not given enough attention.
From the outset team future has focused on meaningful engagement with its constituency, this began during our campaign period before we were elected into office and we ensured that as UNFSU executives that this engagement continued to be meaningful and value-adding.
Using various communication channels and outreach methods we have made sure that we gave you, the staff, a voice.
Examples are the UN's internal social network on Yammer where we created a group that consists of more than 6000 staff, more than our entire constituency, offering a forum for all to engage with each other, to announce important issues, share ideas and discuss potential solutions with each other.
We created the "UNFSU Executive Lounge" in MsTeams which has more than one thousand members, within that team, we have been hosting monthly "meet the team" events where we have an opportunity to meet and greet each other and learn first hand what is happening in your respective entities'.
Additionally, we update our staff regularly through email broadcasts on important matters that need to be communicated.
Working With Others
Over the course of our current mandate, we have given substance to our motto "Stronger Together" by actively seeking out partners and stakeholders that help promote the well-being of our staff and offer value by offering solutions to issues our staff in the field face.
As such, we established for the first time in the history of the UNFSU a team of legal experts that help the union and also provide legal expertise and support to our staff.
We partnered up with UNPAD, to help facilitate dialogue in our missions around the issue of racism and discrimination.
We engaged and partnered with UN Women, to facilitate dialogue and understanding around the topic of gender parity and by helping to give wider publicity to the field enabling guidelines that have been produced by UN Women, which the UNFSU provided extensive input into.
We partnered with the #NewWork movement, which aims to bring together UN staff from across the UN System, fostering global collaboration to innovate the way we work and facilitate adjusting the organizational culture away from silos and bureaucracy to a more democratized model where inputs are valued from everyone and where anyone has an opportunity to propose innovative ways of working and create solutions to problems we all face from time to time.