Welcome to Team Future

UNFSU Election

UNFSU Executive Elections

Mark Polane, Liliya Galieva and Leila Manly-Spain

Still "Stronger Together"

Team future UNFSU

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.

Admin Guidelines Throughout COVID

Since the start of the pandemic the UNFSU President who is also a Vice President in the UNISERV Staff Federation has worked closely together with other staff federations and members of the HR Network, a subset of the High Level Committee on Management to provide inputs towards the publications of the so-called "Covid-19 Administrative Guidelines" The latest version of which, Version 6 will very soon be published. 

By working collaboratively with fellow staff representatives from other unions and federations and in particular with members of management, such as the Assistant Secretary-General for HR, Ms. Lopez, the UNFSU made sure to keep the interests and well-being of field staff front and center, understanding fully that the pandemic would create additional hardship for staff who are already living and working in difficult circumstances.

UN Life insurance policy updated after UNFSU intervention

During the course of the pandemic, the UNFSU executive had noted that the UN Policy on Life Insurance hadn't been updated for a long time and as such didn't reflect the newly introduce mandatory age of separation of 65.

After alerting the office of Human Resources in DMSPC, the policy was quickly revised and published.

This was of particular importance since staff's dependents or beneficiaries could have been negatively affected due to unexpected deaths arising from the CoviD-19 pandemic.

UNFSU on Parental Leave

UNFSU is working in close collaboration with our Federation UNISERV to devise an all-inclusive and unified parental leave policy. 

It is our ongoing intent to ensure that co-parenting becomes a reality for all and that our colleagues are able to leave hardship locations early, to give birth, without having to commence their parental leave, thus, allowing more time post-birth. Flight schedules should not be allowed to dictate that you lose extensive parental leave pre-birth.

In this modern era, we have clearly identified the possibilities of work from home options for many people and this, we strongly believe, should be the norm for an extended period for all parents after birth or adoption. 

The positive effect of this type of policy is that it not only allows shared responsibilities of the early upbringing of a child but also allows a staff members career to continue. We must support the retention of staff through the reproductive and child upbringing years of their professional careers to help ensure that investment in staff development is not lost and our organizations continue to benefit from acquired experience and expertise. 

In many cases, a female staff member loses their career during these years and many do not return. As an employer of choice, we should positively take all actions that allow parents to spend time with children and this, in turn, will not only improve retention but will also improve recruitment to the United Nations and gender balance. We will keep working proactively to achieve this goal. 

We want to promote equality, social progress, and better standards of life for all persons, we need to be modern, responsive, and not undermine the provisions of maternity and paternity protections. The needs of birth parents during and after pregnancy, or adoption, should be fully protected and a specific period of leave should be attributed for this purpose, thus, promoting the value of family and bonding with the child. 

 

As your UNFSU Executive, we will continue to push for modernization of policies, ensuring all-inclusivity. 

UNFCU Investment Services

During our term, we learnt of a few staff who were experiencing problems with accessing their funds which they had invested through the United Nations Federal Credit Union's investment advisors.

In order to quickly determine the scope of the problem and to understand how many staff members had utilized this service we sent out a broadcast to our constituents asking them to contact us and provide some information about their investments and if they had been experiencing problems accessing their funds.

Once we had determined the magnitude of the problem, the UNFSU Executive intervened with the senior management of the UNFCU in order to seek clarification about this situation.

The CEO of the UNFCU acknowledged that there was an issue with one of the investment firms used by the investment advisors. Subsequently, the UNFCU agreed to pay affected staff the monies they had invested through the investment advisors.

A great success for our staff, securing their funds.

Future of work and "agile contracts"

UNFSU through UNISERV Federation has noted that the HLCM (Management) wishes to add another contract type for reasons of “agility”.

This is a proposal UNFSU is vehemently against as it considers bureaucratic working practices and organizational design the major impediments to an agile workforce. We believe it is time to address these principles and practices, as, in the long run, they will have a negative impact on the notion of an equal and one UN, and the desire to be an employer of choice. The JIU Report A/70/685 - The seventieth session - stated that “the current situation is that United Nations system organizations have a dual workforce: one with full rights and entitlements and another with no or limited entitlements, working in the same organization. This is in line with neither international labour principles nor the values promoted by the United Nations. While United Nations system officials have acknowledged that the present significant use of non-staff is not a good practice, they put forward two important reasons for the use of non-staff contracts instead of staff contracts: lower cost and greater flexibility. The Inspectors would like to clarify that United Nations system organizations should not assume that the need for practical solutions overrides the obligations of the organizations to practice what they preach and what good labour practices require”. 

UNFSU will continue to protect the rights of Field Staff for the proper working conditions covered by the appropriate contracts with the proper compensation package.

Leila, Mark and Lilyia are dedicated in their belief that we are "stronger Together"

UNFSU assists those most in need in Lebanon

The United Nations Field Staff Union had asked for contributions to assist the residents of Beirut, Lebanon after the horrific explosion that took place on 4th August 2020 leaving many thousands displaced and hungry.

Through many generous contributions, a total of $31,911 USD was collected. An amazing show of support for those less fortunate than us.

A local charity, “The Lebanese Food Bank”, https://lebanesefoodbank.org was identified by UNFSU to assist in getting food aid to those most in need.

Utilizing the funds, 21,911 USD we were able to provide 800 families of 4 food for a month, 3200 people daily or the equivalent of 96000 people. The food boxes provided contain 19.5 KG of food, all of which is locally sourced in Lebanon from farmers and producers, thus, supporting local incomes at the same time.

This has allowed for your contributions to remain in-country whilst providing the much-needed assistance.

“From the farming industry, harvesting, packaging of produce, boxing and delivery to the recipients, the whole process involves locally grown items and local workforce”

Further donation assistance of $10,000 USD has been given to provide special formula milk and nappies to babies.

This is achieved by the Food Bank providing coupons to the value of 200,000 LBP that can be utilized in the local pharmacies.

The movie clip below was created by the Lebanese Food Bank to show how your generosity is helping others.

Please spare a couple of minutes to watch it. https://youtu.be/XkYHFCtz410

Key Projects

UNFSU

Mental Health

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.

UNFSU

Engagement

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.

UNFSU
Problem solution concept. The folded white puzzles elements with empty place labeled PROBLEM and one red puzzle with word SOLUTION. 3D Illustration

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. 

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