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Protect UN humanitarian aid workers: reject cuts to pay and family leave

Protect UN humanitarian aid workers: reject cuts to pay and family leave
  
  

 


Why this is important

If the UN doesn’t support its staff, how can UN workers support the millions of hungry, displaced and disenfranchised people who could not survive without humanitarian assistance?

After a three-year pay freeze for UN staff, Member States are being asked to approve real cuts in pay and allowances of up to 10% for humanitarian aid workers and the staff who support them.

We provide relief in war-torn and devastated countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. Thousands of UN staff put their lives at risk daily in the most dangerous and challenging locations in the world.

The proposed salary and benefits cuts would:

  • Take the most from single parents and parents with working spouses
  • Make it more difficult and expensive for us to see our families and visit home
  • Undermine the UN’s ambition for a more diverse staff with more women in diverse roles
  • Damage the UN’s ability to move staff quickly to danger zones where we are needed to save lives

Despite praising staff as ‘the heart and soul’ of the UN when he welcomed Pope Francis to UN headquarters, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is now expected to support these damaging cuts to that very same ‘heart and soul’.

We work in dangerous areas because of our passion and motivation to save lives and make a positive difference for people suffering from the indignities and inequalities of conflict and displacement.

We fear that staff who do not feel supported by our employer, the UN, will become demoralised, demotivated, and less effective, potentially putting their lives and those of the people we help at greater risk.

As one of our members in Syria said:

“If the staff are not being supported, and conditions mean we cannot make a difference, what do we think will keep them working here?”

Please support us and sign now to call on UN Member States to protect the UN’s ‘heart and soul’ by rejecting cuts to pay and family leave for frontline humanitarian aid workers.

Posted October 15, 2015
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