Base salary scales for Professional and higher categories
(l) On general developments, see introductory note to this chapter.
(2) For reference purposes, a summary is given below of the evolution of salary scales and post adjustments for the Professional and higher categories:
Main lines of salary system established
Staff regulations including confirmation of salary scales
Setting up of Tax Equalization Fund
Introduction of post adjustments and development of a common salary system, after studies by the Salary Review Committee in 1956, system based on Geneva, January 1956
New consolidated salary scales, after study by ICSAB and adjustment of all post adjustment indices, on the Geneva base of January 1956, by a factor of 100 over 110
Post adjustment system rebased on Geneva, April 1960 (instead of January 1956)
Base of the system: post adjustment index 105 in Geneva, with one class of post adjustment
New salary scales, recommended by ICSAB
Gross salary increase: 5 per cent - consolidation of one class of post adjustment - adjustment by 100/105 of Geneva post adjustment based on January 1966
Special Committee for the Review of the UN salary system
Gross salary increase: 8 per cent - consolidation of two classes of post adjustment Base of the system updated from Geneva, January 1966 to Geneva, January 1969, and 100/110 adjustment of post adjustment
Consolidation of 5 classes of post adjustment Base of the system transferred from Geneva to New York, December 1969 Introduction of "partial" post adjustment class
Net salary increase: 6 per cent
Interim adaptation of post adjustments for staff without dependants
Consolidation of 5 classes of post adjustment Updating of base New York: November 1973 (from December 1969)
New staff assessment scheme for Professionals only (different for staff with and without dependants)
Trigger point of additional post adjustment class: 5 per cent increase in cost-of-living, and not any more 5 index points
Consolidation of 30 multiplier points - adaptation of staff assessment scheme in order to have a no gain, no loss operation
Updating of base New York: October 1977 (from November 1973)
Increase of New York remuneration by one class of post adjustment after decision of ICSC
A/39/30, para. 165
Suspension of class 12 of post adjustment in New York at request of General Assembly
Consolidation of 20 multiplier points
Post adjustment class 10 at New York granted by ICSC
A/44/30, vol.I para. 67
Establishment of a base/floor salary at a level equivalent to former base salary plus 12 multiplier points; 5 per cent general increase in remuneration
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 5 multiplier points
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 6 multiplier points
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 6.9 multiplier points
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 3.6 multiplier points
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 4.1 multiplier points
Increase in base/floor scale by consolidation of 0.4 multiplier points
(3) At its 25th session (1970), when it agreed to a salary increase effective l July 1971, the General Assembly authorized the establishment of a Special Committee for the Review of the United Nations Salary System (2743(XXV)).
(4) At the 33rd session (March 1971: CO-ORDINATION/R.863, paras. 7-10 and Addendum l) CCAQ agreed upon the texts of several papers for presentation to the Special Committee for the Review of the UN salary system.
(5) Further papers for the Special Committee were prepared by a CCAQ working party in October 1971 (CCAQ/SEC/214) and cleared by correspondence.
(6) The Report of the Special Committee (A/8728) was not unanimous. ICSAB and ACC considered that a number of important recommendations required further study (ICSAB/XX/1 and A/8839). On the recommendation of ACABQ (A/8914) the General Assembly decided, by resolution 3042(XXVII)(1972), that the Report and related documents should be transmitted to the new International Civil Service Commission, when established, for consideration and recommendations.
(7) The General Assembly, at its 28th session in 1973 decided to defer consideration of the establishment of the International Civil Service Commissionuntil its 29th session and in the interim to request ICSAB to submit recommendations concerning "salaries of the Professional and higher categories and staff allowances" to be effective from 1 January 1975. In consequence, ACC, on the recommendation of CCAQ, made proposals to ICSAB on salary and allowance levels (CO-ORDINATION/R.1031, Addendum 2 and ICSAB/XXII/R.2). ICSAB, meeting in July 1974, recommended to the General Assembly a 6 per cent increase in net salaries, an increase in the children's allowance from $300 to $450 per annum and a new schedule of assignment allowance rates as proposed by ACC.
(8) At its special session No. 1 (January 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1133, para. 5 and Add.2), CCAQ agreed on a draft ACC text for ICSC (later cleared by correspondence) on remuneration of the Professional category. It suggested inter alia that a more logical pattern of incremental steps might be developed, and reiterated its preference for recognizing expatriation by a reasonable margin in base salaries, plus such selective provisions as education grant.
(9) At its 3rd session (March 1976: ICSC/R.42, paras. 20-30), ICSC reached a number of tentative conclusions on the level of remuneration for the Professional and higher categories. CCAQ discussed them and adopted draft ACC comments on them at its resumed 43rd session (April 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1162/Add.l).
(10) At its 44th session (June/July 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1168, paras. 6-8), CCAQ agreed that its Chairman should propose to ICSC the possible consolidation of 5 post adjustment classes, rather than 4, as previously suggested (CO-ORDINATION/R.1162, para. 12) in view of recent movements of the WAPA index.
(11) In its second annual report (1976) (UN document A/31/30, paras. 50 and 118-121), on the basis of its review of the UN salary system, ICSC concluded that no acceptable alternative could be found to the Noblemaire principle as the basis for establishing UN remuneration for the Professional and higher categories. It favoured retaining the US Federal Civil Service as the comparator (paras. 51, 123-131), but would try to find a way of comparing "total compensation".
The Commission concluded (paras. 53 and 149-154) that the comparison between UN and US civil service remuneration should be at their respective headquarters, the cost-of-living difference being taken into account. Bearing in mind the difference between the two services, it found the existing level of UN remuneration in relation to that of the US Civil Service satisfactory (paras. 55, 56, 168-187).
(12) The Commission recommended (A/3l/30, Addendum) that 5 classes of post adjustment be consolidated into base salary to restore pensionable remuneration to its normal par relationship to gross salary and the resulting revised gross and net salaries enter into force from 1 January 1977 (paras. 67, 236 and 247 and Annexes VII and VIII). It further recommended that staff members whose remuneration would fall be paid the difference as a temporary transitional measure (paras. 68, 219 and 247). ACC comments on the ICSC report were adopted by CCAQ at its 44th resumed session and cleared by correspondence (September 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1176, paras. 6-8 and Annex III). The recommendations of the Commission were approved in resolution 3l/141(1976).
(13) Dealing with implementation of the recent reforms of the salary system, CCAQ at its 46th session (January 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1203, para. 7) agreed that no staff member appointed on or after 1 January 1977 should be entitled to the pensionable remuneration resulting from the salary scales in effect on 31 December 1976 for the Professional and higher categories.
(14) At its 6th session (August/September 1977: ICSC/R.96, paras. l3-20), the Commission considered the methodology for a further study of grade equivalences between the US Civil Service and the UN system. For CCAQ views on the methodology, see CO-ORDINATION/R.1237, para. l9.
(15) On the basis of a study carried out by consultants at its behest, the Commission examined in its 4th annual report (1978) the possibility of using a total compensation approach to comparing the UN's salary system with that of the comparator country. It concluded that the methodology used by the consultants was not entirely suitable. On the basis of further comparisons taking account in particular of a certain number of benefits other than salary in each service, the Commission further concluded that such benefits bore the same relation to net pay in each of the services. Therefore, pending development of an appropriate methodology for comparisons on the basis of total compensation, a comparison based on net remuneration did provide a reasonably reliable interim basis for comparing the effective levels of remuneration (UN document A/33/30, paras. 93-117). For CCAQ comments on this question see CO-ORDINATION/R.1263(Part II), paras. 11-14).
(16) ICSC continued its study of a methodology for total compensation comparisons, which is reported on in: its 6th annual report, A/35/30, paras. 106-1-8; its 7th annual report, A/36/30, paras. 45-65; its 8th annual report, A/37/30, paras. 65-85; and its 9th annual report, A/38/30, paras. 23-30. It adopted a methodology for such total compensation comparisons based on non-expatriate benefits at its 18th session (July 1983), and requested that thereafter two sets of margin calculations be presented to it, one based on net salaries alone as before, and the other on total compensation comparisons (ACC/1982/5, Annex III).
(17) At its 10th session (July 1979), ICSC initiated consideration of a methodology to verify whether the United States federal civil service was still the highest-paid national civil service (A/34/30, paras. 129-130). Following the development of this methodology during several sessions, the findings of a total compensation comparison between the UN and the civil service of the Federal Republic of Germany (ICSC/R.273) were presented to the Commission at its 14th session (July 1981). CCAQ's views on this document are recorded in the report of its 55th session (July 1981 : ACC/1981/31, paras. 19-26). The Commission concluded that, as a result of the difficulties it had encountered in the quantification and comparison of pensions - the single most important non-cash benefit - and due to the procedures used to adjust for differences in currencies and purchasing power, it was not able at the present stage to assess the relative levels of the remuneration packages applicable on both sides. It was, however, of the opinion that preliminary examination of the data led it to believe that there was no evidence to suggest at the present time that the US federal civil service should be replaced as the "comparator" under the Noblemaire formula (A/36/30, paras. 75-79).
(18) At its 56th session (March 1982), the Committee prepared a position for ACC to put to ICSC concerning an increase in the level of remuneration for the Professional and higher categories. ACC approved the principle of a presentation to ICSC at its first regular session in 1982 (ACC decision 1982/5).
(19) At a special session (June 1982), CCAQ approved a draft ACC paper recommending to ICSC a 5 per cent interim increase in net salaries of the Professional and higher categories (ACC/1982/16). ACC approved the draft unanimously at its second regular session in 1982 (ACC decision 1982/14).
(20) ICSC considered the proposals of ACC at its l6th session (July 1982). Its 8th annual report records that some members supported an increase, while others did not. In the end, the Commission recommended to the General Assembly that net salaries be increased effective l January l983, without indicating how much the increase should be (A/37/30, paras. l07-ll8).
(21) At its 37th session, the General Assembly decided to request the Commission to review further the basis for the determination of and level of remuneration of the Professional and higher categories, and report to it at its 39th session (l984) (GA resolution 37/l26).
(22) At its l7th and l8th sessions (1983), ICSC gave consideration to the basis for the determination of the remuneration of the Professional and higher categories, including the Noblemaire principle. At the l7th session the Commission concluded that only non-expatriate benefits should be included in any analysis of the conditions prevailing in the comparator country.
(23) At its 12th session (July 1980) ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly that 30 points of post adjustment be incorporated into base salaries (6th annual report, A/35/30, paras. 95-102). The General Assembly approved the recommendation effective 1 January 1981.
(24) At its 16th session (July 1982) the Commission decided to initiate a new study of the equivalency between UN grades and those in the Senior Executive Service (SES) of the United States Federal Civil Service. CCAQ, while urging that SES grades not be included in any UN/US salary comparison, agreed that if they had to be included, then a new equivalency study was needed (ACC/l982/23, para. l0).
(25) At its 17th and 18th sessions (1983), the Commission reviewed the methodology for the equivalency study and progress made in implementing it (ICSC/l7/R.28, paras. 36-42, and ICSC/l8/R.33, paras. l7-21).
(26) The study was concluded at ICSC's 19th session (ICSC/19/R.22, paras. 36-48). CCAQ's views are recorded in ACC/1984/9, paras. 17-21 (report of the 60th session). Also at its 60th session (March 1984, ACC/1984/9, paras. 10-14) CCAQ prepared a report to ACC on the question of an increase in the base salary scales, including the draft of a statement for ACC to present to ICSC. ACC, at its extraordinary session of 1984, adopted a statement which included an affirmation that an increase continued to be justified (ACC/1984/DEC/13, Annex).
(27) It is recorded in ICSC's 10th annual report (A/39/30, paras. 110-119) that the Commission did not recommend any increase in base salaries to the 39th session of the General Assembly.
(28) With regard to the basis for the determination of base salaries, ICSC decided that:
i. the basis of comparison should be the actual salaries paid in the comparator civil service;
ii. the level of the margin must be determined in a pragmatic manner;
iii. salaries at Assistant Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General levels should be determined by extrapolation of salaries at grades P-1 to D-2;
iv. results of all margin calculations in future would be on the basis of total compensation comparison.
(29) At a special session (October 1984) CCAQ considered a report by two inspectors of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU/REP/84/12) which called into question various aspects of the remuneration package of staff in the Professional and higher categories. CCAQ prepared a draft ACC statement on this report (ACC/1984/22, paras. 8-9 and Annex IV). The statement as approved by ACC is contained in Decision 1984/20. The General Assembly, in resolution 39/27, decided to refer to ICSC the JIU report, the related comments of ACC, and the views of Member States and requested the Commission to report thereon to the Assembly at its 40th session (1985).
(30) At its 22nd session (July 1985), the Commission reviewed the JIU report on the basis of an analysis by its secretariat, as well as the views of FICSA. Its views are recorded in the eleventh annual report (A/40/30, paras. 93-97). The views of CCAQ are in the report of its 63rd session (ACC/1985/14, paras. 26-28).
(31) The General Assembly, in resolution 39/27, requested ICSC to submit recommendations to its 40th session on (a) a specific range for the net remuneration margin, taking into account that, on average, the margin in the past had been within a reasonable range of 15 percent; (b) the technical measures which would be applied to ensure that the post adjustment system operated within the framework of the defined margin range. (For further information on (b), see also section 2.4, paras. (68) to (70)).
(32) At its 62nd session (March 1985), CCAQ prepared a statement to ICSC's 21st session (ACC/1985/6, Annex III), in which it noted that a number of methodological issues would have to be resolved before a specific margin range could be agreed upon. At its 21st session (March 1985), ICSC agreed to recommend a net remuneration margin of 10 to 20 percent above the comparator civil service, with a desirable mid-point of 15 percent (A/40/30, para. 117). The Commission also made proposals concerning the modalities of operation of the post adjustment system within the margin range (ibid., paras. 120-126).
(33) At a special session in July 1985 , ACC adopted a statement on personnel questions in which, inter alia, it expressed the view that the definition of the margin range should not be finalized until there was no doubt regarding the elements of comparison (ACC/1985/14, Annex IV). (ACC decision 1985/14).
(34) At its 63rd session (July 1985), CCAQ reviewed various alternative approaches proposed by the ICSC secretariat for the calculation of the US/UN net remuneration margin:
(a) Remuneration at step I. (b) Remuneration after 5 years of service in each grade. (c) Remuneration at the last step of each grade. (d) Average remuneration at each grade.
The Committee decided to support, as an alternative to the present approach (step I), the use of a comparison based on average remuneration at each grade (ACC/1985/14, paras. 9-10). CCAQ also agreed to raise before the Commission the issue of the specific range for the net remuneration margin. It had before it in this connection a preliminary study, but before this could be presented to the Commission, a number of issues would have to be resolved (ibid., paras. 11-13).
(35) ICSC decided at its 22nd session (July 1985) to continue reporting the net remuneration margin on the basis of the current methodology, but to review at a later date certain aspects of the methodology (A/40/40, para. 58). It further decided, that since the organizations had not been able to provide detailed information concerning their proposals, to confirm the definition of the net remuneration margin referred to in (34) above (ibid., para. 119). This was duly approved by the General Assembly in resolution 40/244; on the understanding that the margin would be maintained at a level around the desirable mid-point of 115 over a period of time.
(36) At its second regular session of 1985 (October 1985), ACC instructed CCAQ to conduct a technical study on the determination of the margin for submission to ICSC. At its 64th session (March 1986), CCAQ had before it a study by the Secretary of a number of methodological issues of margin determination, on the basis of which it took positions on these matters at ICSC's 23rd session (ACC/1986/3, paras. 9-11). On the basis of these deliberations, CCAQ prepared a progress report to ACC (ibid., Annex III).
(37) At its 63rd session (July 1985), CCAQ reviewed a report by the ICSC secretariat on the Special Rates programme and other pay systems of the US federal civil service, which gave an indication of plans for conducting a new equivalency study and remuneration comparison. The Committee stressed the need to be fully involved in all stages of the study (ACC/1985/14, paras. 23-25). ICSC, at its 22nd session (July 1985) instructed its secretariat to proceed with the study (ICSC/22/R.23, para. 34).
(38) At the 64th session (March 1986), CCAQ undertook a detailed review of the above-mentioned study, taking into account also the comments of its Sub-Committee on Job Classification on the job equivalency aspect. The Committee's views are recorded in ACC/1986/3, paras. 12-18. ICSC decided at its 23rd session (March 1986) to authorize its secretariat to proceed with the equivalency study, on the understanding that decisions on various aspects would be taken at its 24th session. It further requested the secretariat :
(a) to study the possibility of conducting an equivalency study and remuneration comparison in the context of US federal civil service staff in New York City (see, however, para. (40)(a) below);
(b) to include USG and ASG level positions in the equivalency study;
(c) to proceed on the basis of both the inclusion and exclusion of the US Foreign Service and on the basis of several alternative remuneration comparison calculations;
(d) to include a limited number of positions representative of jobs in specialized agencies.
For details, see ICSC/23/R.19, paras. 53-57.
(39) The Committee's views on the follow-up report by the Commission Secretariat, based on deliberations at its 65th session (July 1986) are recorded in ACC/1986/10, paras. 28-39. ICSC, at its 24th session (July 1986), agreed, for the time being :
(a) to use 486 positions for analysis purposes and exclude positions outside Washington, D.C. and positions that were not specifically sampled;
(b) to exclude anomalous gradings by eliminating positions in United States grades representing less than five percent of positions and single gradings equivalent to a particular common system grade;
(c) to exclude the jobs of representation, co-ordination and liaison specialists and interpreters and translators, but to request its secretariat to study further the equivalencies of translator jobs and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(d) to include positions in SES, but to request its secretariat to study further refinements for pay comparison with levels D-1 and D-2 and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(e) to exclude ASG/USG level positions for the time being, but to request its secretariat to study other methods of comparing positions at those levels, and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(f) to include GS-7 positions;
(g) to exclude all Foreign Service positions;
(h) to include specialty jobs;
(i) to note the results of the validity check by the United States Office of Personnel Management and to request its secretariat to continue consultations with OPM in order to reach a higher rate of agreement, and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(j) to use positions in Washington, D.C., but to collect data on additional positions outside that city if jobs were not sufficiently represented;
(k) to apply the square root in order to reduce dominance of highly populated jobs, and to request its secretariat to study the issue further and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(l) to use average salaries and to request its secretariat to study the effect of different lengths of career in the two services on those averages and to report thereon to the Commission at its twenty-fifth session;
(m) to exclude bonuses and performance awards that were not part of base pay as defined by the United States federal civil service, and to include additional pay for physicians;
(n) to exclude merit pay performance awards that were not included in base salaries as defined by the United States federal civil service (A/41/30, para. 104).
(40) At its 65th session (July 1986: ACC/1986/10, paras. 11-15), CCAQ reverted to the question of the methodology for margin determination. ICSC, at its 24th session (July 1986) agreed to inform the General Assembly that :
(a) Grade equivalencies should continue to be established using US federal civil service jobs in Washington, D.C.;
(b) Remuneration comparisons should be carried out on the basis of the net remuneration of the two civil services in New York. As there was no differential between the remuneration of US federal civil service employees in New York and Washington D.C., the remuneration amounts for US federal civil service employees in Washington D.C. should be used for those in New York;
(c) The cost-of-living differential between New York and Washington D.C. should not be taken into account in margin calculations;
(d) Only that part of bonuses and performance awards which formed part of the base pay of US federal civil service employees should be taken into account in margin calculations;
(e) Average salaries applicable in each grade for staff in the two civil services should be used for net remuneration margin calculations;
(f) Outstanding methodological issues, including the effect on the margin of (e) above, would be reverted to at its 25th session (A/41/30, paras. 69-74).
(41) The Commission further requested its secretariat to prepare a summary of the quantification procedures used in total compensation margin comparisons, as part of a comprehensive review of such comparisons (ibid., para. 83).
(42) The Group of High-Level Intergovernmental Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations (known as the "Group of 18") considered, in its recommendation 61, that the level of total entitlements of staff members had reached a level which "gives reason for serious concern" and that it should be reduced (A/41/49, para. 50). ACC approved a statement concerning the question (ACC/1986/19, para. 4).
(43) By resolution 41/213 of 20 December 1986, the General Assembly decided that the Secretary-General should transmit to the Commission those recommendations (of the Group of 18) having direct impact on the common system (recommendations 53 and 61), with the request that it report to the General Assembly at its 42nd session; the Commission discussed these recommendations at its 26th session (July 1987) and reported to the General Assembly (A/42/30, paras. 44-46). The General Assembly took note of the Commission's views (see also 2.10, para. 40 and 3.4, para. 15).
(44) At its first regular (April) session of 1987, ACC decided (decision 1987/3) to hold a special session on 21 June 1987 for the sole purpose of reviewing ways of remedying the deterioration in conditions of service of UN system staff. It instructed CCAQ(PER) to prepare a series of concise policy-oriented position papers on key elements of conditions of service. CCAQ(PER) prepared such papers (ACC/1987/R.31) as well as draft statements addressed to ICSC and the Pension Board at an advance meeting of its 67th session (May 1987). ACC adopted the draft statements with some changes (ACC decisions 1987/13 and 14).
/Note by the Secretary: The review undertaken by CCAQ at the request of ACC covers a number of questions: salaries (including total compensation comparison), margin (including Washington-New York COL differential), post adjustment (including RCF, special measures in weak currency duty stations), pensions and pensionable remuneration, education grant, annual leave, conditions of service in the field. The CCAQ studies are reflected in ACC/1987/PER/R.31; ACC's position is reflected in its decisions 1987/13 and 14; the ICSC recommendations and decisions are contained in A/42/30 and the Pension Board recommendations in A/42/9./
(45) For discussions in both CCAQ and ICSC on supplementary payments to staff and deductions from their remuneration by Member States, see section 11.2.
(46) At its 25th session (March 1987: A/42/30, paras. 126-132), ICSC completed its consideration of certain aspects of the grade equivalency and remuneration comparison between the UN system and the US federal civil service. CCAQ's views are contained in the report of its 66th session (ACC/1987/4, paras. 25-31).
(47) At its 25th and 26th sessions (1987), ICSC reviewed, at the request of the General Assembly in resolution 41/207, the decisions referred to in paragraph (40)(b) and (c) above. CCAQ, at its 66th and 67th sessions, expressed strongly the view that the Washington-New York cost-of-living differential should continue to be reflected in margin calculations (ACC/1987/4, paras. 16-18 and ACC/1987/10, paras. 17-20 refer; see also ACC statement to ICSC 26th session). Following extensive debate, ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly the continued inclusion of the cost-of-living differential for the next 3 years (see A/42/30, paras. 53-87 for a full report of the Commission's discussions and the implications of its recommendations). The General Assembly, in resolution 42/221, decided that the existing net remuneration margin methodology should be maintained, pending a report by ICSC to the 45th session of the Assembly.
(48) Also at its 25th and 26th sessions, ICSC reviewed in response to a request by the General Assembly, the feasibility and desirability of total compensation comparisons (A/42/30, paras. 88-104). The Commission was divided on the issue and agreed to report the views expressed by those members who felt that TCC was both feasible and useful and those who considered it would be unwise and unproductive to pursue a costly methodology that would yield unreliable measurements. CCAQ took the position that TCC was both feasible and desirable, and that current work should be expanded to include comparisons with US civil servants in conditions of expatriation comparable to those of UN staff (ACC/1987/4, paras. 19-24; ACC/1987/10, paras. 21-26). The General Assembly, in resolution 42/221, requested ICSC to develop a methodology for total entitlements and present its recommendations thereon to the forty-fourth session. In the same resolution it asked the Commission to carry out a comprehensive review of conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories.
(49) At its 67th session (July 1987: ACC/1987/10, paras. 51-52), CCAQ reviewed the issue of supplementary payments, which had been placed on the ICSC agenda at the request of FICSA. CCAQ reaffirmed its concern at both supplementary payments and deductions from the remuneration of staff by some governments. ICSC, at its 26th session (July 1987: A/42/30, paras. 133-146) decided to report to the General Assembly on the matter in 1988.
(50) At its 68th session (February-March 1988: ACC/1988/4, paras. 61-67) CCAQ reiterated to ICSC its strong opposition to the selective payment by certain Member States of supplementary amounts to their nationals employed by the UN system, as well as to the reverse practice of deductions. Although it had so far been unable to acquire sufficient information on these practices, ICSC at its 27th session (A/43/30, paras. 30, 31) decided to draw to the attention of the General Assembly the Commission's finding that the practice of supplementary payments was on the rise. It decided to include the issue in its comprehensive review of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories. The Assembly, in resolution 43/226, asked the Commission to pursue its collection of information on this subject.
(51) In its follow-up report to the Assembly on supplementary payments and deductions, ICSC again called attention to continuation of those practices and to the failure of many Member States to provide relevant information (A/44/30, vol. I, paras. 80-90; see also Assembly resolution 44/198, section III C). CCAQ had earlier reiterated its forceful opposition to supplementary payments (71st session (July-August 1989): ACC/1989/14, paras. 144, 145).
(52) CCAQ considered aspects of the TCC methodology at its 68th and 69th sessions (February-March and July 1988: ACC/1988/4, paras. 19, 20; ACC/1988/12, paras. 27, 28). It concurred in views expressed in documents before ICSC (ICSC/28/R.3; ICSC/28/CRP.7) that spot readings of the margin tended to be misleading, and that the same 12-month period used for net remuneration margin calculations should be applied to the total compensation margin. However, it recommended to ICSC that methodological studies on total compensation should be subsumed under the comprehensive review of the conditions of service of staff in the Professional and higher categories called for in General Assembly resolution 42/221. ICSC preferred to adhere to its approved schedule of reviewing total compensation methodology at its 29th session (March 1989) so as to be able to make recommendations to the Assembly at its 44th session (A/43/30, paras. 122,124).
(53) At its 68th session (ACC/1988/4, paras. 10-18), CCAQ concluded, in response to a communication from the secretariat of ICSC on the US/UN remuneration margin, that it would not be appropriate for the freeze on post adjustment in New York to be lifted in February 1988 as an unforeseen consequence of the introduction of the new out-of-area price progression factor (OAPPF) (previously introduced by ICSC on the recommendation of ACPAQ and with the support of administration and staff representatives). CCAQ agreed to present to ICSC two alternatives and to reiterate to the Commission the position of ACC that the freeze on remuneration should be lifted as soon as technically justified after the US/UN net remuneration margin fell below the mid-point of the range; the exact date should be determined on technical grounds.
(54) At its 27th session (March 1988: A/43/30, paras. 15-17), ICSC dealt with the above problem by deciding that the previous methodology for the calculation of the OAPPF should continue to apply for New York and Washington, D.C.
(55) At its 69th session (July 1988: ACC/1998/12, paras. 21-26 and annex III), CCAQ agreed to propose to ICSC that the methodology for operating post adjustment within the margin range should be based on a longer period than that proposed by the Commission - say two years - and that it should recognize cost-of-living movements as "the primary trigger" for changes in the post adjustment system. CCAQ also agreed to reiterate its earlier proposal that the margin reference period should be redefined as the calendar year, and to reaffirm its support for the ACPAQ recommendation that a moving average of CPI data for New York and Washington over a 12-month period should be used to establish the cost-of-living differential.
(56) ICSC did not modify the methodology for operating post adjustment within the margin range, but agreed (28th session, July 1988: A/43/30, paras. 18-23) that it would decide on the date of post adjustment indices for New York in such a way as to ensure that the resulting margin remained around 115, based on the evolution of (a) the size and timing of increases in US federal civil service salaries; (b) inflation in New York and its impact on the index; (c) US federal income taxes; and (d) the cost-of-living differential between New York and Washington. It also decided that in operating the post adjustment system for New York, the Chairman should follow three guidelines (for details, see A/43/30, para. 23).
(57) In the light of General Assembly resolution 42/221 calling for a comprehensive review of conditions of service of Professional and higher level staff, CCAQ at its 68th session (February-March 1988: ACC/1988/4, paras. 21-29 and annex III), decided that in order to provide ICSC with the views of those responsible for managing the organizations and carrying out their programmes and activities, it should initiate a study to provide the outline of possible options, using not only the experiences of its members but also a high-level professional consultant from outside the UN system, specialized in international compensation systems. Based on the study, CCAQ would propose possible alternatives to ICSC.
(58) Reviewing the consultant's study at its 69th session (July 1988: ACC/1988/12, paras. 5-20 and annex IV), CCAQ - with certain reservations - expressed the belief that its proposals provided a promising approach to a new, more transparent compensation system, and the necessary conceptual framework for one option that should be considered in the context of the comprehensive review. CCAQ also discussed the Commission secretariat's approach to the review and expressed views on a number of different aspects (ACC/1988/12, para. 17). It emphasized that the whole review was of highest priority, and recommended to ICSC the establishment of working groups on comparators, the pay package, merit pay and the grading structure, and mobility and hardship incentives.
(59) In a preliminary report to the Assembly on the review (A/43/30, paras. 44-70), ICSC singled out for priority study similar areas to those identified by CCAQ and asked for more guidance from the Assembly on certain areas to be explored. In its resolution 43/226 the Assembly asked the Commission to give the review priority, to allow fullest participation of organizations and staff representatives, to examine all elements of present conditions of service, and after identifying problems to propose solutions. The Assembly also set out principles to guide the Commission in its study of the priority areas mentioned above, and resolved that the overall costs of its proposals should, as far as possible, be comparable to the costs of the present remuneration system.
(60) At both its 1988 sessions (68th and 69th) CCAQ considered how to identify the highest-paid national civil service. At its 69th session (July: ACC/1988/12, paras. 29-32), it considered preliminary studies by its secretariat of pay equivalencies with the national civil services of Australia and Japan, and data on salaries in the OECD, the EEC and the World Bank. It stressed the relationship between this subject and the comprehensive review referred to above, and recommended a broader basis of investigation but a simplified method of comparison. For its part, ICSC carried out preliminary studies of net remuneration in the civil services of Canada and the Federal Republic of Germany, and some of their pension provisions. It decided to consider this issue in the context of the comprehensive review (A/43/30, paras. 27-29).
(61) On the basis of a survey of best prevailing local conditions, ICSC recommended a new salary scale for language teachers in New York as at 1 December 1987 (A/43/30, para. 72 and annex IV).
(62) In its 1989 report (A/44/30, vol. I, para. 97(i)), ICSC recorded its decision to take note of action by the Governing Bodies of WIPO abolishing the protection of take-home pay in local currency for future staff (article 3.1 bis of its Staff Regulations), while maintaining it for the time being for staff in service. The Commission's discussion on implementation of its decisions and recommendations (ibid., paras. 92-97) had been considered by CCAQ at its 70th session (ACC/1989/6, paras. 80-83).
(63) Following a review of the margin, CCAQ at its 70th session (March 1989: ACC/1989/6, paras. 19-27) urged ICSC in the strongest possible terms to grant post adjustment class 10 at New York on 1 May of that year. The Commission agreed (A/44/30, vol. I, para. 67). At the same session CCAQ concluded that consideration of total compensation methodology would have to wait until work on the comprehensive review was more advanced (ibid., paras 28-31).
(64) Early in 1989 ICSC began substantive work on the comprehensive review referred to in (54), (55) and (56) above. CCAQ designated organizations to be represented on the tripartite working group set up by the Commission to report to it on the review (see ACC/1989/2, paras. 8-14 and annex III), and its secretariat assisted that of the Commission during the group's work. The Committee dealt with arrangements for the review at its 70th session (March: ACC/1989/6, paras. 9-18); at its 71st session (July-August: ACC/1989/14, paras. 7-107), it commented exhaustively on the recommendations of the working group, which included an across-the-board increase in remuneration, a new base/floor salary level, a modified post adjustment system, a new mobility and hardship scheme, measures to improve motivation and productivity, and new methods of calculating allowances.
(65) At a special session on 5 July 1989, ACC adopted a statement calling for a revised remuneration system offering competitive conditions of service and starting with an increase of at least 5 per cent for all staff at the Professional and higher levels (ACC/1989/13, annex IV).
(66) The Commission considered the working group's proposals at its 30th session (July-August 1989) and accepted most of them. Like the working group, it was unable to agree on a remuneration structure and instead set up another working group composed of its own secretariat, CCAQ, FICSA and CCISUA to help carry out further work in that area. The Commission recommended inter alia the establishment of a base/floor net salary level by reference to the corresponding base net salary levels of officials in comparable positions serving in the comparator (United States) civil service in Washington; it would be set at a level equivalent to the existing base salary plus 17 multiplier points. It also recommended a 5 per cent general increase in remuneration (A/44/30, vol. II).
(67) The Assembly (resolution 44/198) accepted the above recommendations, effective 1 July 1990. It also accepted elements of the modified post adjustment system recommended by the Commission (see section 2.4), most of the mobility and hardship package (see sections 9.7 and 10.2), most of the recommendations for improved motivation and productivity (see section 2.14), and some of the recommendations on allowances (education grant: see section 2.10; dependency allowances: see section 2.7; and separation payments: see section 5). On the question of the comparator, it asked the Commission to propose in 1991 a methodology for determining periodically which is the highest-paying national civil service. As for the margin, the Assembly inter alia confirmed that the current margin range of 110 to 120 should continue to apply - as recommended by ICSC -, endorsed the methodology recommended by ICSC for calculating the net remuneration margin (A/44/30, vol. II, para. 39 (d)), and asked it to monitor the margin over the 5-year period beginning in 1990 to ensure that, as far as possible, the average of the successive annual margins "is around the desirable mid-point of 115" (the Commission had recommended that the margin be allowed to fluctuate freely within the range). The Assembly took no action on a Commission recommendation that the four-month waiting period between the granting of successive classes of post adjustment for New York (an interim measure under Assembly resolution 43/226) should be discontinued.
(68) The working group set up to examine the structure of remuneration (see para. (63) above) reported early in 1990, having retained for testing three structures: one where the housing element would be separated at all duty stations, one where it would be separated at field stations only, and the existing structure. These options were not totally satisfactory to either CCAQ or ICSC, and the Commission set up another working group, which outlined an alternative treatment for housing under the existing remuneration system (ICSC/32/R.7; ICSC/32/R.5, paras. 28-42; ACC/1990/4, paras. 6-20; A/45/30, paras. 58-73). This proposal, particularly the revised rental subsidy scheme which it embodied, was generally well received in CCAQ (73rd session, July 1990: ACC/1990/10, paras. 6-10) and ICSC recommended its essential elements to the General Assembly (A/45/30, paras. 95-96). For details of the above developments and of Assembly resolution 45/241, see section 14.4. The Assembly inter alia expressed concern that the Commission had not yet been able to recommend a revised remuneration structure for the Professional and higher levels that would result in greater transparency and simplicity in the concepts and administration of the remuneration system.
(69) At its 72nd session (ACC/1990/4, paras. 61-87) CCAQ discussed many aspects of how the organizations should implement the changes arising from the comprehensive review referred to above. It agreed on a text of amended staff regulations and rules (ibid., annex III) which could serve as a framework, in terms of substance, for amendments in the texts of the organizations.
(70) Noting that United States federal civil service salaries had recently been increased, CCAQ at its 72nd session (February-March 1990: ACC/1990/4, paras. 88-91) agreed to ask ICSC to place on the agenda of its 32nd session (July-August) a review of the level of the common system base/floor salary. It recalled the 1989 position of ACC (see para. (62) above) in favour of a mechanism of yearly increases until the competitive level of take-home pay was restored. In a subsequent statement ACC declared that in the interests of the competitiveness of common system remuneration, the base/floor salary scale must not be allowed to lag behind the reference salary levels of the comparator (decision 1990/7).
(71) At its 73rd session (July 1990: ACC/1990/10, paras. 32-37) CCAQ reviewed information to the effect that two post adjustment increases might fall due in New York late in 1990. While such an eventuality would cause administrative and other difficulties, not to grant the increases would effectively negate the salary increase that had become effective on 1 July. The Committee reaffirmed that the post adjustment system in so far as it affected New York should be allowed to operate normally within the margin range (of 110-120). It urged ICSC to prepare a methodology to deal with any freeze in post adjustment that might result were the margin to move close to the upper limit. Discussing these questions at its 32nd session (July-August 1990), ICSC came to the conclusion that it was unrealistic to require that the margin be maintained on average around the mid-point of the range; it asked the General Assembly to reconsider its request that the Commission manage the margin over a five-year period with that end in view (A/45/30, paras. 173-189).
(72) In 1990 ICSC recommended a new base salary scale for the Field Service (A/45/30, paras. 254-270 and annex XXI; see section 10.1).
(73) During 1990 both CCAQ and ICSC considered the conditions of service of staff at the ASG and USG and equivalent levels, in the context of the comprehensive review discussed above. CCAQ at its 73rd session (July: ACC/1990/10, paras. 17-20) noted that staff in these categories in the UN were quite different from those in many other organizations, and that in any event the issues raised would need to be brought to the attention of ACC. The Commission made a series of recommendations on housing subsidies for these officials (see section 14.4); on the other hand it concluded that the question of their representation allowances was not susceptible to common system treatment (A/45/30, paras. 110-124 and annex XI).
(74) On the basis of an increase in the salaries of the United States federal civil service and United States tax calculation changes, CCAQ at its 73rd session (July 1990: ACC/1990/10, paras. 41-48) proposed to ICSC an increase of 8.5 per cent in the current base/floor salary scale for staff in the Professional and higher categories, effective 1 March 1991, through consolidation of post adjustment classes. It also proposed a mechanism for the regular review of that scale. ICSC accepted its first proposal and the essential elements of the second (A/45/30, paras. 195-208). The General Assembly subsequently approved an increase of 5 per cent in the base/floor scale, effective 1 March 1991 (resolution 45/241, section VIII).
(75) Returning to the question of supplementary payments and deductions from salary (ibid., paras. 111, 112), CCAQ reiterated to ICSC its concerns at such practices and stressed that the organizations had been active in bringing them to the attention of legislative bodies and staff. The Commission's decisions on this question are recorded in its report for 1990 (A/45/30, paras. 209-220 and annex XV). It reported that it had explored at some length, but finally discarded at this stage, a possible recommendation that executive heads institute sanctions or disciplinary proceedings against staff members who received supplementary payments. For General Assembly action, see resolution 45/241, section IX.
(76) At its 74th session (March 1991: ACC/1991/5, paras. 13-15) CCAQ carried out a preliminary survey of several issues arising from resolution 45/241, notably the handling of post adjustments and the margin and the evolution of the base/floor salary scale.
(77) At the same session, following a review of proposals before ICSC for managing the margin and a possible freeze on post adjustment in New York, the Committee formulated proposals of its own (ibid., para. 21). It also urged ICSC once again to ask the Assembly to relax its requirements for rigid management of the margin, and it agreed that a study should be made as soon as possible of an issue related to the margin, namely the compression of the Professional salary scale, particularly at the higher levels (ibid., paras. 16-24). At its 75th session (July-August 1991: ACC/1991/17, paras. 16-27) CCAQ recalled the statement adopted by ACC at its April 1991 meeting (decision 1991/3) vigorously opposing a freeze on common system emoluments, and strongly urged ICSC either to suspend the present margin methodology or to introduce other measures to avoid a freeze. Should the General Assembly not be convinced of the need to avoid a freeze, it should use a mechanism which would avoid a "stop-go" system. In its report to the Assembly for 1991 (A/46/30, paras. 91-116) the Commission recommended, as a transitional measure, a revised method for management of the margin (ibid., para. 109(b)) involving partial post adjustment classes. The Assembly agreed to the introduction of partial post adjustment classes (resolution 46/191).
(78) At its 72nd session (February-March 1990) and again at its 74th and 75th sessions (March and July-August 1991) CCAQ reviewed progress in ICSC towards developing a methodology for identifying the highest-paid national civil service. It urged the Commission not to discard potential comparators because of lack of sufficient data (ACC/1990/4, paras. 21-26; ACC/1991/5, paras. 33,34; ACC/1991/17, paras. 39-41). The phased approach recommended by ICSC to the General Assembly for five-yearly checks is in annex V of its 1991 report (A/46/30, vol. I; for discussion, see paras. 151-159).
(79) At its 34th session ICSC approved the results of its 1990-1991 study of grade equivalencies between the United Nations system and the comparator, which would lead to a decrease of about 1.8 percentage points in the net remuneration margin. It asked its secretariat to review data on new or revised pay systems in the United States federal civil service with a view to reflecting them in grade equivalencies affecting the margin (A/46/30, paras. 137-150). CCAQ had supported such a review (ibid., para. 140; see also ACC/1991/5, paras. 35, 36, and ACC/1991/17, paras. 37, 38).
(80) At its 75th session (July-August 1991: ACC/1991/17, paras. 7-15) CCAQ noted that the United Nations base/floor salary scale showed a shortfall of about 8.6 per cent compared with the comparator; it asked ICSC to reinstate this matter to its 1991 agenda and proposed an 8.6 per cent increase in the scale, effective 1 March 1992, through the consolidation of post adjustment classes. The Commission agreed (A/46/30, paras. 117-126). The General Assembly subsequently approved an increase of 6 per cent in the base/floor scale effective 1 March 1992 (resolution 46/1991).
(81) CCAQ returned at its 75th session (July-August 1991) to issues arising from the ongoing review of the structure of the UN system salary scale (see paras. (63) and (65) above). It did not consider that special pay rates such as those recently introduced in United States federal agencies should be introduced in the UN system, but it did feel that they should be appropriately reflected in margin calculations. On the subject of productivity or merit pay (see section 2.14), it agreed to set up a working group to review approaches that might be applied in the organizations. Its views on strictly structural aspects are also reflected in its report (ACC/1991/17, paras. 42-57).
(82) At the same session (ibid., paras. 58-61) CCAQ concurred with proposals before ICSC on conditions of service for USGs and ASGs and equivalent levels. Most of them were subsequently recommended by the Commission; they set approximate working equivalencies between those grades and grades in the United States federal civil service; envisaged an increase of from 7 to 11 per cent in net remuneration; and provided for revised housing subsidy arrangements (see section 2.14). The Commission considered that more study was needed into alternative pension arrangements for such high-level officials (A/46/30, paras. 160-173). The General Assembly at its forty-sixth session deferred consideration of ICSC's proposals in respect of the remuneration levels of ASGs and USGs.
(83) At its 76th session (March 1992: ACC/1992/6, paras. 8-33), the Committee considered ACC's decision (ACC/1991/19) calling upon CCAQ to carry out further work on the margin between United Nations and United States remuneration at the D-1 and D-2 levels, which was virtually zero, on a comparative study of the employment conditions prevailing for staff at equivalent levels in the World Bank Group, the IMF, OECD, EC, and similar institutions, and on new approaches to conditions of employment of staff in the Professional and higher categories. On the margin at the D-1 and D-2 levels CCAQ concluded that the parameters of the salary scale should be revised (ibid., paras. 51-56). In reviewing aspects of the comparator's pay system, the Committee felt that the option of special pay systems deserved further study and established an informal working group to see how they might affect the margin computation. CCAQ supported suggestions before ICSC for the possible inclusion, in the calculation of the margin, of eleven additional pay systems, the Washington, D.C. area cost-of-living differential applied by most of the agencies concerned and all relevant bonuses and performance awards. It also recommended the possibility of direct comparisons with the better-paying federal agencies applying special pay systems rather than "averaging" them. In considering how to make the comparison with other international organizations, the Committee decided to take a fresh look at the Noblemaire principle.
(84) At the same session CCAQ considered but was unable to agree on a proposal by IAEA for a simplified payroll procedure under which a constant amount in local currency would be paid monthly to each staff member. (ibid., paras. 27-32). CCAQ also considered the possibility of introducing an additional grade or grades and decided to present the possibility of introducing an additional grade level to ACC for preliminary consideration (ibid., paras. 57-58).
(85) At its 77th session (July 1992: ACC/1992/23, paras. 7-21) CCAQ, in the light of ACC's decision (ACC/1992/2/Add.1, para. 12) inviting CCAQ to pursue its studies of the introduction of an additional grade and to propose increases of 3 and 5 per cent at the D-1 and D-2 levels respectively, agreed to present the proposal for the increases to ICSC. The Committee decided to revert to the question of the introduction of an additional grade in 1993 (ibid., paras. 8-11). For further discussions on the possible introduction of an additional grade see section 2.15. The Commission decided not to make any recommendation for an increase (A/47/30, para. 176). CCAQ also considered the report of a working group on the use by the comparator of approaches to combat the inadequacy of the General Schedule, in particular the special scales applicable at the level of agencies and the use of special pay rates for certain occupational groups. CCAQ decided to forward the working group's report to the ICSC with the comment that a number of organizations opposed the introduction of occupational rates (ACC/1992/23, paras. 12-17). ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that special occupational rates could be introduced as a means of addressing recruitment and retention problems in some specialized technical fields (A/47/30, para. 177) and the Assembly endorsed the approach (resolution 47/216 II E).
(86) At the same session CCAQ welcomed a study by an outside consultant which was designed to measure the cost of living of a United States federal civil servant staff member in Washington (before recruitment to a common system organization in New York) and in New York (after such recruitment). As the methodology related to domestic expenditure patterns and therefore reflected data external to the common system it avoided any bias and would, if adopted, reduce the margin similarly (ACC/1992/23, paras. 25-27). The Commission decided to adopt the new methodology for the future (A/47/30, para. 143). After ACPAQ had reviewed the methodology ICSC decided to implement it (ICSC/38/R.19, para. 71). CCAQ also decided to ask the ICSC to take action at its current session on the use of special rates as an integral part of compensation for the comparator civil service and include them in the margin comparison (ACC/1992/23, paras. 28-31). ICSC decided not to include these special rates in the comparison process (A/47/30, para. 153). Noting changes in the level of remuneration of the comparator, CCAQ supported a proposal before ICSC to increase the base/floor salary scale by 6.9 per cent on 1 March 1993 (ACC/1992/23, paras. 18-19). The General Assembly approved the revised scale (resolution 47/216 II B).
(87) At its 78th session (March 1993: ACC/1993/6, paras.16-29) the Committee further reviewed the application of the Noblemaire Principle which was deduced from the 1921 Report of the Committee of Experts on the Organization of the Secretariat and noted that the comparison with a national civil service had been a matter of expediency. CCAQ believed the issue should be tackled on the political and technical levels in a broad perspective, including overall conditions of service and the enhancement of productivity, and decided to request the executive heads in ACC to emphasize to Member States the lack of competitiveness of UN common system remuneration. The Committee also decided to study further the roles, structure and pay levels of the Co-ordinated Organizations, the World Bank Group and the European Community (EC). CCAQ unanimously agreed that the P-1 level should not be included in the margin computation. While the majority of the Committee favoured the introduction of a P-6 level between P-5 and D-1, it was agreed to study a P-6 equal in all respects to a D-1 but classified to take into account technical rather than managerial complexity and a P-6 as separate level between P-5 and D-1 (ibid., paras. 30-40).
(88) Also at this session, reviewing further work carried out on the methodology for determining the cost-of-living differential between New York and Washington, D.C., CCAQ recommended that ICSC accept the results of the exercise and apply them immediately to the margin computation (ibid., paras. 49-56). ICSC confirmed its decision at its 36th session and requested ACPAQ to review its technical aspects (ICSC/37/R.18, paras. 38-39). After ACPAQ had reassured the Commission, it decided to apply the new methodology in reporting the net remuneration margin for 1993 (A/48/30, paras. 106-107 and 113). CCAQ also considered proposals before ICSC for payment of special occupational rates, which the majority still opposed. The Committee unanimously concluded that the retention and recruitment problems that such rates were introduced by the comparator to offset would be best eliminated by an overall increase in the remuneration of the Professional and higher categories (ACC/1993/6, para. 70-74). ICSC asked its secretariat to prepare proposals for the development of such rates for its next session (ICSC/37/R.18, para. 74).
(89) At its 79th session (July 1993: ACC/1993/22, paras.12-28) CCAQ continued its review, in the context of the agenda for improved effectiveness and accountability, of the application of the Noblemaire principle. It concluded that the consistent thread of pay policy had been the need to attract and retain staff of a high level of competence and that there was nothing to prevent a re-determination of the manner in which the Noblemaire principle was applied. CCAQ considered the most merit-worthy option would be the inclusion in the comparison of a number of international organizations, in particular, the World Bank group, the Coordinated Organizations, and the European Communities which were competitors for staff and were paying much more for the same expertise. The Committee agreed that these organizations should be used, preferably as comparators, in the determination of appropriate UN common system pay levels. The Committee also reaffirmed the need to take a more global approach in reviewing how to restore the UN's competitiveness. ACC would welcome a strategy to restore competitiveness which would engage all parties in increasing management effectiveness and accountability. CCAQ recommended the establishment of a Steering Committee comprised of representatives of all the parties (Executive Heads, ICSC, Member States and staff) as an effective means of ensuring collaboration and support and decided to propose that ACC take the initiative in setting up a Steering Committee with a view to presenting proposals to the General Assembly in 1994. The Committee also agreed to apprise its Sub-Committees on Job Classification and on Staff Training of these initiatives requesting their collaboration as appropriate. ICSC set a timetable for the study of the Noblemaire principle and the highest-paying national civil service by its 1994 spring session (A/48/30, para. 100).
(90) At the same session the Committee devoted considerable time to discussion of proposals to delink the Director category from the Professional category and to introduce a P-6 level and decided to request ACC's endorsement of its intention to pursue these initiatives in the process of restoring the common system's competitiveness. The new Director category would only comprise jobs with significant managerial responsibilities and a new P-6 level would be introduced to replace the old D-1 level for senior technical jobs (ACC/1993/22, paras. 29-43).
(91) Also at this session, in reviewing the margin estimate for 1993, CCAQ noted that the regressed and unregressed margins at the D-1 and D-2 levels continued to be virtually non-existent and requested the unregressed data as well as the regressed data be provided in future reports on the evolution of the margin. The Committee reviewed proposals by CCISUA for an improved formula for calculating the margin and concluded that further work was required, in which CCAQ would assist if necessary. CCAQ fully supported a proposal for the automatic adjustment in the base/floor salary scale in the light of the increase in comparator federal civil service remuneration levels of 3.7 per cent effective 1 January 1993 (ibid., paras 44-50). ICSC decided to recommend that the current base/floor salary scale should be increased by 3.6 per cent through the consolidation of post adjustment with effect from 1 March 1994 (A/48/30, para. 120). The General Assembly reiterated its request (resolution 47/216) to ICSC to make proposals in regard to the imbalance in the range of United Nations/United States remuneration ratios at different levels of the salary scale and approved the revised salary scale (resolution 48/224 II B and C).
(92) At its second regular session in October 1993, ACC endorsed proposals submitted by CCAQ in respect of developing an agenda for improved effectiveness and accountability and requested CCAQ to complete its studies on the Director category and the P-6 grade for presentation to ICSC in 1994, inviting CCAQ to develop proposals to provide a political and technical framework for its strategy to improve effectiveness and accountability.
(93) At its 80th session (February 1994: ACC/1994/4, paras. 1-9) CCAQ developed more detailed proposals, summarized in a document entitled "Managerial effectiveness and accountability - Introduction of the category of Director or Manager" (ibid., annex III) to be used for briefing representatives of Member States. CCAQ provided the information document to ICSC at its thirty-ninth session in March 1994. Within the framework of its agenda and strategy to improve effectiveness and accountability, CCAQ endorsed a draft definition of the Director category (ibid., annex III, appendix) and recommended the introduction in the common system of management competencies for the Director category to be used in conjunction with the selection of managers, their performance review, their promotion, and their training and development. It mandated a working group to develop a set of core competencies and guidelines for their use, to serve as the model which could be supplemented by organizations in the light of their job-specific requirements (ibid., paras. 32-36).
(94) For discussions in both CCAQ and ICSC on performance appraisal, see section 2.14.
(95) At the same session CCAQ considered that a performance-related pay system which focused on the award of lump-sum non-pensionable bonuses would best suit the UN common system Director category. Bonuses and or salary increments would or would not be payable or granted strictly on the basis of the performance appraisal system. Bonuses would not be considered as part of base salary nor subject to post adjustment and would be paid as a lump sum (ibid., paras. 44-49). As a corollary of rewarding effective managerial performance, unsatisfactory performance had to be managed. Managers could not expect permanency in their jobs unless they performed well. The Committee decided to propose that Directors be appointed to management positions on two-year fixed term contracts, subject to a probationary period of one year. Directors holding permanent or career appointments would retain the right to return to the grade and contractual status they held prior to appointment (ibid., paras. 50-56). CCAQ decided to endorse the introduction of a P-6 level remunerated on the basis of the current D-1 salary scale, distinguishing between posts at the P-6 level from those in the Director category by using the definitions of Professional- and Director-level work (ibid., paras. 57-58). CCAQ requested its Sub-Committee on Training to develop a training and induction package to ensure that the necessary briefing programmes and guidance manuals were in place prior to introduction of the category (ibid., para. 62). CCAQ decided to bring forward proposals to ICSC's 40th session in June 1994. The direct costs of the proposals were expected to be very limited (ibid., paras. 63-65).
(96) Also at this session CCAQ decided to recommend to ICSC to reflect the comparator civil service's new pay strategies in the margin calculation and to calculate the margin by reference to the best paying federal civil service pay system for those occupational groups of relevance to the UN common system (ibid., paras. 66-71). ICSC reported to the General Assembly that a number of comparator's FEPCA provisions had been incorporated into the margin comparison and others were being monitored or reviewed by the Commission. It recommended that the average margin over a period of five years should be maintained around the mid-point of 115 and United Nations salaries should continue to be compared to the actual salaries of the comparator (A/49/30, para. 79). ICSC also decided to report that it had reviewed all the pay systems of the comparator and intended to keep them under review setting out the criteria it intended to apply in reviewing them for inclusion in comparisons. The General Assembly took note of the report and requested ICSC to proceed with all urgency with its studies (resolution 49/223 III A).
(97) At the same session, the Committee reviewed the results of phase I of a study before ICSC on the identification of the highest paid national civil service, in particular relating to the national civil services of Germany, Japan and Switzerland, the focus of the exercise being primarily on cash compensation levels. The Committee felt that Phase II of the study should be pursued with the three civil services retained and a validity check should be undertaken of one or two other civil services considered as borderline, especially the French civil service (ACC/1994/4, paras. 72-73). CCAQ requested ICSC to use in the comparison process the methodology being used by the consultant for determining the cost-of-living differential between Washington and New York rather than the post adjustment mechanism. The Committee also decided to urge the ICSC to use the non common system organizations as comparators in some way for the adjustment of the margin (ibid., paras. 74-77). ICSC decided to proceed to study the German and Swiss civil services only and to collect information on the World Bank and OECD for reference (ICSC/39/R.10, para. 91).
(98) The Committee considered the results of a study on recruitment and retention difficulties which analysed experience since 1989 on the basis of quantitative data. The study was used to inform ICSC of the organizations recruitment and retention difficulties (ibid., paras. 78-80). ICSC requested such reports to be presented periodically (ICSC/39/R.10, para. 112).
(99) Recalling its discussion on the structure of the scale at its seventy-eighth session, the Committee reaffirmed its support for exclusion of the P-1 from the margin calculation (ACC/1993/6, para.37). It concluded that the creation of a P-6 level equal to D-1 for specialized positions without managerial responsibility would better balance organizational requirements than increasing or decreasing the overall number of grades and also that there appeared to be no policy need at this stage for the introduction of a D-3 level. However, a review of scale relativities should be undertaken in conjunction with CCAQ's proposal to create a distinct Director category, in particular the pay-setting aspect (ibid., paras. 81-83). ICSC decided to revert to the matter at its next (40th) session (ICSC/39/R.10, para. 133).
(100) At CCISUA's request, ICSC at its 39th session reviewed the appropriateness of the use of weighted regression and of square root weighting in the current margin methodology. CCAQ saw no reason for continuing to apply weighted regression in margin calculations but decided that further study was required on the weighting system that should be used on both sides of the comparison (ACC/1994/4, paras. 84-86). ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that the margin methodology would be revised to eliminate the use of regression and square root weighting in future (ICSC/39/R.10, para. 52).
(101) At its first regular session in March 1994 ACC decided to defer consideration of CCAQ's detailed proposals entitled "Managerial effectiveness and accountability - Introduction of the category of Director or Manager" (See para. 93 above) in order to elicit views of ACC members in writing on the various elements of the proposals and their implications.
(102) At its 81st session (June 1994: ACC/1994/14, paras. 1-9) CCAQ carefully analysed the views received from executive heads and recognized that there was broad support for measures which would enhance managerial performance and accountability, as well as the performance and effectiveness of all staff. Concerns were voiced as to the desirability of limiting the package of proposals to the group of senior staff. The Committee considered that managerial and organizational performance might best be upgraded within the context of a performance management system applicable at all levels and to all categories of staff by establishing a rigorous and objective performance appraisal process for all staff, based on pre-defined job goals and required competencies. Recognizing that the conceptual basis for a P-6 level was linked to the creation of a separate Director category, CCAQ decided not to pursue the introduction of a P-6 (ibid., paras. 52-57).
(103) At this session CCAQ reviewed its proposals to introduce a performance-related pay scheme and concluded that the performance appraisal process should be the basis for any type of recognition scheme, whether in the form of cash or non-cash awards. The Committee's discussions on performance appraisal are to be found in section 2.14. The Committee concluded that recognition schemes involving some form of monetary reward should be tailored to the needs of each organization and meaningful in terms of their size. The numbers of staff eligible for monetary awards would have to be subject to limits. The Committee came to the conclusion that the concept of permanency should not be abandoned but an initial test/trial period should be introduced to allow for careful assessment of managerial competence (ibid., paras. 65-69).
(104) In the context of a study by the ICSC secretariat of the application of the Noblemaire principle, the Committee expressed grave disappointment that there appeared to be no recommendations forthcoming to the General Assembly in 1994 (ibid., paras. 89-92). CCAQ therefore decided to request ICSC urgently to carry out the review requested by the General Assembly of all aspects of the application of the Noblemaire principle, to take immediate action to introduce the comparator's new or revised special pay systems in the margin calculation, to eliminate the United States GS7 level from the comparisons and to go forward to the Assembly the same year with a proposal for an appropriate real increase in UN pay levels, in order for the UN to maintain full comparability with the intended increase of US salaries by 4.8 per cent under FEPCA's provisions. The imbalance of the margins at D-1 and D-2 levels should also be remedied (ibid., paras. 42 & 108-112). ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that some of the imbalances had been rectified. Other imbalances due to the use of certain grade equivalencies would be addressed in 1995 in the context of a grade equivalency study. Any remaining imbalances would be reviewed at the time of the next substantial salary increase (A/49/30, para. 140). ICSC did not accept CCAQ's proposals for a salary increase, preferring to continue to monitor and compare UN salaries with the actual salaries of the comparator.
(105) At the same session the Committee decided to recommend that ICSC reflect fully the increases in comparator federal civil service remuneration levels by adjusting the UN base/floor salary scale by 4.1 per cent, with effect from 1 March 1995, which would maintain the levels of separation payments and the mobility and hardship allowance (ibid., paras. 43 & 72-73). ICSC recommended that the current base/floor salary scale should be increased by 4.1 per cent, through the consolidation of an equivalent element of post adjustment, i.e., without affecting take-home pay, with effect from 1 March 1995 (A/49/30, para. 181). The General Assembly approved the revised scale (resolution 49/223 III C).
(106) ICSC also agreed to include 11 of the comparator's special pay systems in the margin calculation but only on the basis of the current averaging approach. It intended to review other new or revised pay systems at the time of the next grade equivalency study in 1995 for possible inclusion in margin comparisons (A/49/30, para. 105). At this session CCAQ reviewed a study before ICSC on the identification of the highest paid national civil service, in particular the national civil services of Germany and Switzerland. It regretted that comparisons with the World Bank and OECD had been held up because of the complexities of comparison with the national civil services and that more effort had not been made to complete the studies in order to allow the Commission to fulfil its mandate and report to the General Assembly on this matter in 1994. The Committee continued to believe that the European Union should have been maintained in the study. CCAQ concluded that the studies to be completed should focus not only on the equivalency studies, but also on an analysis of how the remuneration of these bodies should be included in the margin calculation (ACC/1994/14, paras. 104-107). ICSC only noted the progress report on the study of the German and Swiss national civil services and requested its secretariat to submit a full report at its forty-first session (A/49/30, paras. 121).
(107) CCAQ, continuing its review of the application of the Noblemaire principle at its 82nd session (April 1995: ACC/1995/5, paras. 52-79), decided to urge ICSC to include the private sector as a specific point of reference in a revised formula for the determination of appropriate UN common system remuneration levels for Professional staff, as well as the levels of remuneration of other international organizations and whichever was the highest paying civil service. CCAQ decided to invite ICSC to confirm that the objective on which the Noblemaire principle was based was that of competitiveness of common system remuneration. It would also request ICSC to propose to the General Assembly in 1995 an appropriate revision of the Noblemaire principle. The Committee continued to support the inclusion of all relevant special pay systems in the overall grade equivalency comparison used to determine the margin. The Committee also decided to urge the Commission to confirm in principle the results of the grade equivalencies with the German federal civil service, the World Bank and the Coordinated Organizations and made a number of other detailed recommendations for the margin comparisons (ibid., paras. 10-13). As part of its identification of the highest paid civil service, ICSC decided to proceed with further remuneration comparisons on the basis of the grade equivalencies established by its secretariat and based on a total compensation approach, in accordance with the established methodology (ICSC/41/R.19, para. 131). ICSC made a number of other decisions on the margin comparisons. ICSC also decided to report to the General Assembly that the compensation package of the common system did not appear competitive with that offered by OECD for equivalent jobs requiring similar levels of competence. ICSC decided to consider grade equivalencies and related remuneration comparisons with the World Bank at its 42nd session (ICSC/41/R.19, paras. 162-163 and 178-179).
(108) At the first part of its 83rd session (July 1995: ACC/1995/19, paras. 29-46) CCAQ, in the context of ICSC's continuing study of the application of the Noblemaire Principle, considered the TCC between the United States civil service and the Swiss civil service and the German civil service, respectively and concluded that the Swiss civil service was not the highest paid. The Committee noted that the TCC with the German civil service had shown that its remuneration package was 110.5 per cent of that of the US civil service, making it the highest paying civil service. CCAQ decided to urge ICSC to make an upward adjustment of the margin range in order to begin to close the gap (ibid., paras. 34-37). ICSC concluded that the Swiss civil service could not be considered as an alternative to the current comparator and that the TCC showed that the German civil service, which the Commission would continue to monitor, was 110.5 per cent of that of the United States federal civil service. It concluded however that the conditions for changing the comparator were not in place but that the superior conditions of the German civil service could be considered as a reference point for margin management (A/50/30, para. 172).
(109) At the same part of the session, CCAQ considered updated grade equivalencies with regard to the outcome of the validation exercise conducted with the US federal civil service and agreed to urge the Commission to adopt the option of equal weighting to reduce the dominance of the General Schedule vis-à-vis the special pay systems(ACC/1995/19, paras. 38-43). CCAQ also reviewed an updated analysis of grade equivalencies and related remuneration comparisons between the United Nations and the World Bank and underlined that the remuneration levels of the Work Bank group were significantly greater than those of the UN common system. It also gave evidence that the Bank was a direct competitor for staff with the UN common system (ibid., paras. 44-46). ICSC concluded that the compensation package of the common system was not competitive with that offered by the World Bank and that both the OECD and the World Bank would be appropriate as reference indicators for the competitiveness of United Nations system salaries, while reaffirming the long-standing practice of comparisons with the best-paid national civil service under the Noblemaire principle (A/50/30, para. 195-198).
(110) Also in the first part of the session, considering once more the structure of the salary scale, the Committee decided to propose to the Commission to increase all grade and step levels by at least the amount of the upward movement of the base/floor salary scale, adjusting P-4 step VI in keeping with the movement of the comparator, to adjust the margin to alleviate compression at the top of the scale and to incorporate the balance within the post adjustment system in order to ensure that the mid-point of the base floor remained in alignment with the current comparator (ibid., paras. 50-54). ICSC concluded that the current structure of the salary scale was not serving adequately the needs of the common system as it provided insufficient rewards for undertaking higher levels of duties and responsibilities and proposed a restructuring of the scale, retaining the P-1 level (A/50/30, para. 223).
(111) In the same part of the session the Committee reiterated its concerns related to the growing inconsistency of the Flemming and Noblemaire principles, as currently interpreted, which caused pay overlaps and pay inversions between categories and stressed that the Noblemaire principle had to be revised to incorporate the concept of private sector remuneration in order to restore the balance between the Professional and General Service categories (ACC/1995/19, paras. 56-60). In the light of the net increase in comparator federal civil service remuneration levels effective 1 January 1995, an increase of the base/floor salary scale with effective from 1 March 1996 was proposed (ibid., paras. 61-62).
(112) In June 1995 there was a special CCAQ meeting of Senior Administrators which decided to recommend, inter alia, an increase in remuneration levels, with immediate effect, as well as to recommend the development of a longer-term strategy, consonant with the spirit of the Noblemaire principle, in order to ensure over time the competitiveness and stability of common system remuneration. In the long run, it would replace the traditional pay-setting approach with a process which motivated staff, rewarded quality and better reflected the dynamics of organizational change (ibid., paras. 78-79).
(113) At its forth-second session (July/August 1995) ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that the current practice of using the highest-paid national civil service formulation of the Noblemaire principle appeared to be sound, as long as the process of identifying the comparator civil service was handled on a timely basis and the margin realistically reflected comparator expatriation benefits, and suggested that the Assembly confirm the principle on that basis (A/50/30, para. 89). ICSC also decided to recommend an increase, which would be effected in two stages, to restore the margin of 115 per cent in 1996, by applying a new base/floor salary scale without a consolidation of post adjustment with effect from 1 March and by scaling forward all post adjustment indices as of 1 July by 5.1 per cent (ibid., paras. 223). ICSC did not recommended an upward adjustment of the margin range. Instead it asked the General Assembly to decide between the diverse views of its members with regard to the need for further improvements in competitiveness, such as use of an expanded margin range (ibid., paras. 268).
(114) At the second part of its 83rd session (September 1995: ACC/1995/19, paras. 78-84) CCAQ considered that the proposals being made by ICSC fell dramatically short of those called for by the meeting of Senior Administrators, especially in terms of launching a strategy which would begin to close the gap between UN remuneration and that of competitor organizations. Their concerns were reflected in a draft statement for ACC to present to the General Assembly (ibid., annex III).
(115) At its first high level meeting (June 1995: ACC/1995/CCAQ/SM/2, paras. 8-25), CCAQ-HL assessed the status of ICSC's review of the application of the Noblemaire principle as requested by the General Assembly and agreed that competitivity was the basic principle which had to underpin salary setting. The Committee unanimously agreed that immediate action was required to adjust the margin upwards and a long term solution must be sought, with ICSC as a partner, in a process of assisting organizations in the development of modern and innovative strategies to provide competitive remuneration levels. CCAQ-HL agreed that full consultation directly with Member States was necessary in order to mobilize their support. The high level Committee adopted a plan of action and decided to recommended to ACC a strategy to restore the competitivity of the UN common system. The General Assembly in resolution 50/208 I took note of the ACC statement on the report of the Commission, reaffirmed the Assembly's commitment to a single unified United Nations common system as the cornerstone for the regulation and coordination of its conditions of service and reaffirmed the central role of the ICSC for the regulation and coordination of these conditions of service. The Assembly at the same time, reaffirming the continued application of the Noblemaire principle and the need to continue to ensure the competitiveness of these conditions of service, deferred consideration of the report of ICSC dealing with the review of the Noblemaire principle and its application and requested ICSC and the national civil service authorities concerned to resolve the remaining difficulties in comparing differently designed civil services and grading systems in order to complete the study on the highest-paid civil service.
(116) At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, para. 6 & annex III) CCAQ approved a preliminary draft statement on the application of the Noblemaire principle and the consultative process in the ICSC for submission to ACC and presentation by ACC to the General Assembly at its resumed fiftieth session. The statement was subsequently amended after discussion at ACC's first regular session in April 1996. The final statement on Conditions of Service (ACC/1996/14 and Corr.1, annex IV) emphasized the necessity to have an invigorated international civil service of the highest calibre in order to meet the increasing demands of the international community on the United Nations system. To this end there was a critical need to restore competitive conditions of service. ACC also endorsed the technical recommendations of ICSC related to the measurement of the margin and with regard to the national service comparator and strongly supported the ICSC's recommendation to restore the margin of United Nations to United States remuneration to its desirable mid-point. For the future, ACC urged simultaneous movement on two fronts: the active and continuing pursuit of efficiency, enhanced performance, including management performance, and structural and management reform: and an equally active pursuit by ICSC of the measures required to restore competitive conditions of service through the rebuilding of the Noblemaire Principle.
(117) At the same session CCAQ recalled that the General Assembly had asked ICSC to review all aspects of the Noblemaire Principle in the context of competitivity. CCAQ urged ICSC to confirm unequivocally to the General Assembly the technical soundness of the recommendations in ICSC's 1995 report on the margin calculation methodology and the highest paying civil service with whatever clarifications might be appropriate in terms of grade equivalency studies with the German civil service (CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, annex IV). After carefully reviewing the issues raised by the Assembly, ICSC decided to reaffirm both its decisions with respect to the reduction of dominance in margin comparisons by the use of equal weighting and the inclusion of all bonuses and performance awards of the various pay systems except the distinguished and meritorious awards granted to the SES (A/50/30/Add.1, para. 32). ICSC also decided to report to the Assembly that the total compensation levels of the German federal civil service continued to be superior to those of the comparator but ICSC did not consider that it was opportune to recommend a change of comparator but that the situation should continue to be monitored (ibid., para. 47). The Assembly deferred consideration of the question of the comparator to its fifty-second session (resolution 51/216 I B) and did not accept the changes in the margin calculations. (ibid., I C).
(118) At its 85th session (July 1996: ACC/1996/14, paras. 5-7 & 24) CCAQ noted that the updated margin forecast for 1996 was 109.7 and that there was ample evidence that the FEPCA legislation would never be implemented. CCAQ decided to inform the ICSC (a) that the restoration of the margin to the mid-point of the range should be considered in conjunction with its consideration of the base/floor salary scale, (b) that CCAQ continued to be concerned that UN system pay levels were being compared with those of a comparator whose pay setting principles were dictated by national political considerations, (c) that, in the long run, ignoring world employment market forces in pay-setting could prove more costly than normal adjustments to maintain competitivity and (d) that the information provided on United States anticipated pay adjustments from 1997 to the year 2002 would appear to lead to greater margin stability for some years to come.
(119) Noting that a 5.68 per cent increase in the base/floor was required to bring UN pay levels in line with equivalent levels in the US civil service in Washington, D.C. and concerned at the lack of clarity in the manner in which the base/floor would be updated as well as at the manner in which the ICSC's 1995 proposals would be updated, CCAQ decided to insist that these issues be discussed either in conjunction with the consideration of the base/floor scale or as a separate agenda item. CCAQ also decided to present a conference room paper to ICSC outlining proposals for a real increase at all grades and steps in the base/floor scale and consolidation of post adjustment to bring the floor to the required level. The minimum increase at any grade and step would be 3.1 per cent. Higher increases would apply at some grades and steps to provide for restructuring of the scale exactly along the lines of ICSC's proposals to the General Assembly in 1995. These increases would increase the margin to approximately 114.4 in 1997 and 115.3 in 1998. The combined effect of these measures would be to increase the P-4/step VI level in the base/floor salary scale by 5.68 per cent as of 1 March 1997 (ibid., para. 25). ICSC decided to recommend substantially the same measures (A/51/30, paras. 154-155). The Assembly adopted a new scale calculated without the proposed changes in margin methodology as a result of which the margin for 1996 was 114.6 rather than 109.7, requested the organizations to substantiate the recruitment and retention problems they claimed and urged the introduction of performance awards and bonuses (resolution 51/216 I C).
(120) At its 86th session (April 1997: ACC/1997/6, paras. 23-30) CCAQ noted that ICSC had reported to the General Assembly on two occasions that, based on its technical evaluation conducted in accordance with the approved methodology, the total compensation levels of the German federal civil service were superior to those of the current comparator (the US federal civil service) but had not suggested to the General Assembly how their findings should be interpreted in terms of the application of the Noblemaire principle. The Committee concluded that it would be appropriate to use the margin mechanism as the vehicle of application of the Noblemaire principle and recalled that the remuneration levels of the Bretton Woods Institutions and other international organizations were up to 30 per cent higher than those of the German civil service which were about 12 per cent above those of the comparator. CCAQ decided to recommend that ACC request the General Assembly to revise the margin range from the current 110 to 120 level to 120 to 130 on the assumption that the gap between the US and German civil services would remain in excess of 10 per cent through 1997. ICSC decided to report to the Assembly the forecast of the margin of 115.7 for 1997, that the FEPCA pay reforms had still not been implemented and that there was no significant change in the results with respect to the German/United States total compensation package (A/52/30, para.54). The Assembly, in resolution 52/216 I A, took note of the findings and recommendations referred to in paragraph 117 above, acknowledged the option of margin management and requested ICSC to monitor the situation.
(121) Further CCAQ, noting that the General Assembly had repeatedly referred to the introduction of occupational pay rates in the common system, while upholding the Noblemaire principle as the fundamental basis for determining common system remuneration, recognized that the need to contemplate the introduction of occupational rates arose because the Noblemaire principle was not being applied. CCAQ considered that the determination of the jobs to which such rates should be applied should be related to the competencies required to do the job in question and that these rates be termed "competency (or function-based) differentials." For highly specialized fields of work, such differentials could be used to attract and retain highly qualified specialists and would be determined by the agency concerned, taking account of the need to satisfy two concurrent requirements, (i) the educational level required by the incumbent of the post and (ii) the ongoing application of this level of competence to the post in question. It was agreed that ICSC be invited to provide an indication of the relevant market pay levels (ACC/1997/6, paras. 31-37). ICSC concluded that it should revert to the matter of competency differentials when more specific proposals were available (A/52/30, para. 25).
(122) Also at the 86th session (ACC/1997/6, paras. 39-42), CCAQ took note of a historical review of the manner in which expatriation, and subsequently the expatriate element in the margin, had been treated since the inception of the League of Nations in 1921, of the distinction between the concepts of expatriation and mobility and of the reality that expatriation generally remained unaffected by the length of stay at any particular location and might even be exacerbated over time. It asked its secretariat to develop various related issues in cooperation with the ICSC secretariat .
(123) At its 87th session (July 1997: ACC/1997/13, paras. 4-9 & 28-29) CCAQ, noting that ICSC had not endorsed the proposal to adjust the margin range, proposed that ACC recommend to the General Assembly the adjustment of the margin range and request the Assembly to invite ICSC to make proposals for appropriate adjustments UN common system remuneration levels to bring them within the revised range of 120-130. CCAQ prepared a draft statement for ACC.
(124) At the same session CCAQ reviewed information about a variety of innovations being introduced by national public services to preserve their competitivity, including greater flexibility in classification structures, occupational-skill-competency based differentials, alternative methods of progressing through pay scales or bands and diverse contractual patterns that enabled CCAQ to confirm to ICSC that its studies and the organizations' actions were not out of keeping with the concept of a civil service but necessary for the maintenance of its productivity and effectiveness (ibid., paras. 30-32).
(125) CCAQ also endorsed the proposals of ICSC secretariat to adjust the base/floor scale by 3.1 per cent, the margin forecast of 115.7 for 1997 and a total compensation margin of 110.9 between the remuneration of the German and US federal civil services. Having concluded that the margin should be the mechanism by which the Noblemaire principle should be applied until the comparator was changed, CCAQ decided to request ICSC to move the margin range from 110-120 to 120-130 and to make proposals to the Assembly which would ensure that by 1 January 1998, UN pay levels would be set at the bottom of the revised range with further adjustments to be made over time to ensure that they reached the mid-point of the revised range. The Committee also decided to advise ICSC that it was no longer necessary to report margin figures based on the methodology rejected by the Assembly in 1995 and that reference to exchange rates, which had no impact on the total compensation margin between the US and German remuneration levels, should be clarified before inclusion in the ICSC annual report (ibid., paras. 33-39). ICSC did not agree to move the margin range. It decided to report to the General Assembly the margin forecast for 1997 of 115.7 between the net remuneration of UN Professional staff in New York and the US federal civil service and to inform the Assembly that the comparator had not implemented the FEPCA pay reforms and that there was no change in the German/US total compensation comparison under which the German civil service remuneration package was 10.5 per cent higher than the US federal civil service. ICSC recommended the base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 3.1 per cent from 1 March 1998 (A/52/30, paras. 54 & 62). The General Assembly by resolution 52/216 I C approved the new base/floor salary scale.
(126) At its 88th session (April 1998: ACC/1998/5, paras. 6-7) CCAQ examined a number of ways to revise the remuneration structure to ensure competitivity of remuneration levels and the application of the Noblemaire principle, taking into account the organizations' preparedness to move away from the current structure, the need to maintain costs within the current envelope and the need to identify the problems which the restructuring would address. CCAQ concluded that the issues were so complex that none of the solutions offered seemed to satisfy these concerns nor to be wholly acceptable and requested further thinking to permit more complete proposals to be put to ICSC's next session. It also agreed that urgent attention needed to be given to the absence of any margin at the D.1 and D.2 levels, including the possibility of creating a "senior executive service" for the United Nations system.
(127) At the same session, CCAQ reviewed the treatment of expatriation in the common system and the comparator and noted that the latter's treatment of expatriation was such as to warrant an increase in the common system margin for expatriation. The Committee concluded that the weight of evidence in respect of the magnitude of the comparator's package of benefits for expatriate staff was so overwhelming that there was a strong case for increasing the overall package of common system expatriation benefits (ibid., para. 8). CCAQ also supported the increase in the base/floor salary scale of 2.48 per cent on the usual basis with effect from 1 March 1999 (ibid., para. 28). ICSC considered it did not have all the elements necessary to ascertain whether the expatriate elements of the margin could be phased out for some staff and recommended the increase (A/53/30, para. 95). The General Assembly, by its resolution 53/209 I C & D, approved the new scale and requested ICSC to continue to develop its study in the area.
(128) At its 89th session (July 1998: ACC/1998/9, paras. 2-12) CCAQ reviewed proposals related to the creation of a senior executive group or category across the common system and concluded that the issue revolved around a clearly distinguishable group of senior managers which needed to be better defined to enable attention to be focused on their selection requirements based on a competency profile and professional assessment procedures, training programmes, the strengthening of managerial capabilities and accountabilities as well as mobility between organizations. CCAQ requested its secretariat to identify viable alternatives in respect of the better definition of UN common system managers and the competencies required of them, enhancing common system mobility and reappraising all aspects of the pay system.
(129) At the same session (ACC/1998/9, para. 46) CCAQ reported to ICSC that it had taken note that the margin forecast between the net remuneration of the UN staff and those of the United States federal civil service for 1998 was 114.8 and remained concerned with the lack of any margin at the higher levels. ICSC reported the margin forecast and informed the Assembly that the FEPCA pay reforms had not been implemented but the economic and fiscal conditions of the comparator indicated that future adjustments might be enhanced (A/53/30, para. 73). The General Assembly, in its resolution 53/209 I B, took note of the margin and of the fact that ICSC intended to explore possible solutions to the problems of imbalances at individual grade levels.
(130) At the same session (ACC/1998/9, para. 47), CCAQ noted that evidence clearly showed that the United States federal civil service was no longer the highest-paying civil service and the Noblemaire principle was no longer being applied. It pointed out to ICSC that the Assembly in its resolution 52/216 had reconfirmed the continued application of the Noblemaire principle, reaffirmed the need to continue to ensure the competitiveness of the conditions of service of the common system and acknowledged the option of margin management. ICSC reported to the Assembly that the retirement and health insurance benefits and leave and work hours provisions of the German civil service were superior to those of the comparator, while net salaries in the United States civil service remained higher. Consequently the comparator was not the best paying civil service. However, ICSC continued to believe that the comparator should not be changed. The total compensation comparison showed the difference between the German/United States civil services had narrowed to 108.5. ICSC decided to suspend the annual comparison and undertake a study in 2001 on the use of a basket of comparators, conduct total compensation comparisons between the United States and other potential comparators, including Germany, as well as between the United States and the United Nations (A/53/30, para. 88). The General Assembly, in its resolution 52/209 I A, took note of ICSC's decision to suspend total compensation comparisons until 2001.
(131) At its 90th session (April 1999: ACC/1999/5, para. 14) CCAQ supported the proposed increase of 3.42 per cent in the base/floor scale with effect from 1 March 2000 and had no objection to the proposed revision of the process of adjusting the base/floor scale. It disagreed with the premise on which the ICSC secretariat's proposal to improve the individual margins at the D.1 and D.2 levels was based, namely that the measure had to be cost neutral. In any case, the proposal would result in financial implications owing to the introduction of transitional allowances at the P.1 to P.3 levels. CCAQ decided that it would report to ICSC that any proposals for the adjustment of absolute pay at the D.1 and D.2 levels should be taken up within the context of the annual review of the margin. In the light of anticipated increases in the pay levels of the comparator's General Schedule it was quite likely that the US/UN margin would fall well below 115 and even to around the 110 level, in which case ICSC would have to recommend a real increase in the UN scale if the Noblemaire Principle were not to be further eroded. This would allow for a differentiated approach at different grade levels. ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly:(a) the new procedure proposed for determining the base/floor salary scale, (b) the proposed increases in the base/floor scale and (c) a new salary scale reflecting the previous recommendations and consolidating 3.42 per cent of post adjustment on a no loss/no gain basis (ICSC/49/R.12, para. 70). It not to pursue a proposed differentiated adjustment of the upper grades of the scale. The General Assembly approved the revised salary scale (resolution 54/238 I C).
(132) At its 91st session (July 1999: ACC/1999/13, para. 4) CCAQ took note of the margin estimate for 1999 of 113.8 and of the statement by the ICSC secretariat that this estimate was likely to change because the revised housing data was expected to lead to an increase in post adjustment in New York in November and to a change in the New York/Washington cost-of-living differential. The Commission noted that on the basis of the approved methodology and the available information at the end of July 1999, the net remuneration margin was estimated at 114.1 and so reported to the General Assembly (A/54/30, paras. 47 & 53). The Assembly took note (resolution 54/238 I B).
(133) At its 92nd session (March 2000: ACC/2000/5, para. 9) CCAQ supported the standard updating of the base/floor salary scale by an increase of 5.1 per cent with effect from 1 March 2001 and, noting that a further increase of some 4.2 per cent in US federal civil service salaries was forecast for January 2001, decided to recall to the Commission that, as it had stated a year ago, the increases in US federal civil service pay continued to exceed the cost of living in New York; as a result, the margin between US and UN remuneration levels continued to go down. As the margin approached 110, it would again urge the Commission to review how to accommodate a real increase in the base/floor scale and in that context to analyse how best to adjust salaries at those grade levels at which there remained an increasingly negative margin. ICSC decided to recommend that the base/floor should be increased by 5.1 per cent on the usual basis with effect from 1 March 2001 (A/55/30, para. 124). The General Assembly approved the revised scales as recommended (resolution 55/223 I D).
(134) At the same session (ibid., para. 10) the Committee recognized the importance of the current grade equivalency study as the key component in establishing a sound basis for the correct measurement of the net remuneration margin, confirmed the organizations' willingness to continue to assist ICSC in the classification of jobs used in the study and decided (a) to draw the Commission's attention to the need to examine carefully the implications of the comparator's increased use of a rank-in-person approach in the jobs being compared and (b) in the context of simplification, to invite the Commission to review the grade equivalency methodology as soon as possible after the conclusion of the current exercise so that at the time of future studies a less labour intensive approach might be available which would be equally sound technically and credible to all stake-holders, as the current methodology. ICSC decided to request its secretariat to review the methodology for future grade equivalency studies with a view to simplifying the process without jeopardizing the quality of the results. It also invited the organizations to reflect emerging occupations such as Humanitarian Affairs and Governance in the CCOG (ICSC/51/R.13, paras. 37-38).
(135) At ICSC's 52nd session (ICSC/52/R.16, para. 32) CCAQ noted the results of the latest grade equivalency study and again drew the attention of the Commission to the need to examine and review the process of the current methodology. ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that it had conducted, as part of its regular five-yearly reviews, a new grade equivalency study with the comparator. In that context ICSC decided (a) to note the results of the validation exercise, which showed an agreement rate of 92 per cent, (b) to endorse, for comparison purposes, the results of the exercise with the comparator civil service, (c) to report a net remuneration margin of 113.3 for the calendar year 2000 and (d) to request its secretariat to review the current methodology and to explore more efficient means with a view to streamlining the process and reducing the administrative costs without jeopardizing the quality of the results in future grade equivalency studies (A/55/30, para. 149). While ICSC took note of the margin forecast of 113.8, in view of the revised grade equivalencies between the United Nations and the United States, it decided to report to the General Assembly a margin of 113.3 (A/55/30, para. 116). The Assembly took note (resolution 55/223 I C).
(136) At its first meeting in June 2001 (ACC/2001/HLCM/7, paras. 11-12) the Human Resources (HR) Network, in view of the movement of the salaries in the United States federal civil service, the comparator, noted that an adjustment of the United Nations common system scale by 3.87 per cent was necessary in 2002 in order to maintain the base/floor scale in line with the comparator's scale. The meeting supported the adjustment effective 1 March 2002 which would be implemented on a no-loss/no-gain basis by consolidating 3.87 per cent of post adjustment into the base/floor scale. The Commission decided to so recommend to the General Assembly (A/56/30, para. 97). The Assembly approved the new scale as recommended (resolution 56/244 II B).
(137) At the same meeting (ibid., para. 13) the HR Network noted that on the basis of the approved methodology and the current grade equivalencies between United Nations and United States officials in comparable positions, the net remuneration margin for 2001 was forecast as 112.2. As in previous years, the meeting decided to draw the Commission's attention to the margin levels at P.5, D.1 and D.2 levels which had dropped to below 110; the anticipated D1/D2 margins were at 105.3. The Commission noted the margin forecast and also that it was expected that the margin could decrease significantly once full details of recent tax changes were known and taken into account. It therefore expected that a revised margin, based on the tax changes, would be reported to the General Assembly. In the event the Commission decided to take note of the margin forecast of 112.2 (A/56/30, para. 107). The Assembly noted that the margin was 111.0 (resolution 56/244 II A).
(138) At its April 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/8, para. 8) the HR Network noted that, in the light of the movement of the federal civil service salaries in the United States, the comparator, an adjustment of 5.6 per cent in the base/floor scale would be required in 2003 to maintain the base/floor scale in line with the comparator's scale and endorsed the proposal to adjust, effective 1 March 2003, the base floor scale on a no-loss/no-gain basis by consolidating 5.6 per cent of post adjustment. It considered that any proposals to change the current methodology for the determination of the base floor and the relationship of the base floor scale to the mobility and hardship matrix and the schedule of separation payments should be addressed in the context of the review of the pay and benefits system which was currently underway in the Commission. The Commission decided for the time being to take note of the recommended adjustment of the base/floor salary scale on a no loss, no gain basis pending its review of the methodological issues underlying the scale at its 55th session, when net remuneration margin details would be available (ICSC/54/R.12, para. 93).
(139) At its July 2002 meeting (CEB/2002/HLCM/14, para. 6) the HR Network noted that, as was foreseen, the 2002 margin would fall below 110 and strongly supported the restoration of the margin to the mid point of 115 in accordance with the normal functioning of the approved methodology. It preferred that a differentiated approach be taken in restoring the margin to the mid point in light of the General Assembly's and the Executive Heads repeated requests that the margin imbalance be addressed and emphasized that this was a question of equity and was all the more important at a time when all partners agreed on the importance of strengthening managerial capacity. The Network recalled that over the years organizations had consistently supported March implementation dates to allow adequate time for financial/payroll systems to take into account the changes once approved by the General Assembly and recalled also that while each organization must take action in accordance with the responsibilities they had assumed in adhering to the Statute of the ICSC, it was understood that organizations would do so in the context of their respective budgetary processes. The Commission decided to report to the General Assembly the margin forecast of 109.3 for the year 2002 ((A/57/30, para. 153) and decided to recommend to the General Assembly, for implementation effective 1 March 2003, a differentiated real increase of the base/floor scale for the Professional and higher categories to address the low level of the margin at the upper grades of the scale and to restore the overall level of the margin to the desirable mid-point of 115 (ibid., para. 174). In resolution 57/285 I A, para. 7, the Assembly requested ICSC to conduct a review of grade equivalency between the United Nations and the United States federal civil service in accordance with the new master standard and to report on it to the Assembly at its 58th session. By the same resolution 57/285 II A, para. 4, approved a lesser increase and substituted its own revised scale of gross and net salaries (see below).
(140) At its January 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/4, paras. 3-4) the HR Network was informed that the General Assembly had approved a smaller increase that would bring the margin to an overall average of 112 and at P.4, P.5, D.1 and D.2 to approximately 111 (as the margin was above 115 for P.1, P.2 and P.3, no increases were approved for these levels). Copies of correspondence between the Secretary-General and the Presidents of FICSA and CCISUA on the subject were discussed. The Network expressed appreciation for the efforts of all those involved in the discussions with the United Nations General Assembly on the matter, including representatives of the UN Secretariat and the secretariats of the CEB and ICSC and took note of the communications between the Secretary-General and CCISUA & FICSA. It emphasized the important role that HR departments must exercise in educating staff on the context and methodological reasons for the decisions. The Network observed that article 54 of the Pension Fund Regulations, which stipulated that pensionable remuneration scales should be adjusted "by a uniform percentage," should be revisited with a view to ensuring that it was applicable in cases other than an across-the-board increase.
(141) At its March 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/12, paras. 8-10) the HR Network noted that in light of the movement of federal civil service salaries (the General Schedule) in the United States, the comparator, the current US level was 7.3 per cent higher than the current United Nations levels. The 7.3 percent was comprised of the 3.1 per cent increase granted to the United States federal civil service in January 2003, tax changes in 2003 and the increase which was not granted by the General Assembly in 2003. The ICSC secretariat was proposing to realign the base/floor salary scale with that of the comparator's nationwide General Schedule salary scale, excluding locality payments particular to Washington, D.C.
(142) The HR Network recalled that the base floor was introduced with effect from 1 July 1990 as part of the ICSC's Comprehensive Review of the Conditions of Service of the Staff of the Professional and Higher Categories. Since 1990, the base/floor had been adjusted annually in light of the changes in the changes in the US federal civil service salaries in Washington, D.C. and the relevant rates of taxation. In 1989-90 there existed only one scale for the US federal civil service salaries nation-wide. Locality pay was introduced only in 1994. Changes which were introduced as part of the Comprehensive Review were seen as simplifying and regularizing elements of the pay system. For example, the mobility and hardship scheme which replaced the assignment allowance with or without a mobility element, financial incentive for service at hardship duty stations, installation grant and pre-departure allowance, which previously had been subject to separate reviews and adjustments by the General Assembly on a less regular basis. The mobility and hardship matrix, moreover, was based on the comparison made by the ICSC in respect of emoluments under the comparator's (US federal civil service) package and the then current (pre-1990) and the proposed mobility and hardship package for the capital cities of 42 countries in which the UN common system had 50 or more international staff and where the comparator was also represented.
(143) In light of the above, the HR Network considered that any review of the base/floor which would also affect the mobility/hardship matrix would have to be much more thorough and robust. It should include comparisons of the UN and US field packages along the lines of those carried out in 1988/1989. It should, moreover, include "client-surveys" of the impact of the mobility/hardship scheme on the work of the organizations as well as on the recruitment and mobility of their staff. It decided to request its secretariat to prepare a conference room paper for presentation to ICSC to recall this background and decided to inform ICSC that it could not accept the methodological changes proposed, inter alia without a more detailed analysis. The Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that it revert to the procedure used when the base/floor salary was established in 1989 and to use the nationwide General Schedule, excluding locality pay, of the US federal civil service as a reference point for the UN base/floor salary scale. It concluded that this would result in the base/floor scale being maintained at its current level for the time being. It requested that its secretariat provide more detailed information at its 57th session regarding the linkage with the mobility and hardship scheme (A/58/30, paras. 188-189). The Assembly, by its resolution 58/251, approved the recommendation.
(144) At its July 2003 meeting (CEB/2003/HLCM/20, para. 8) the HR Network noted that the analysis of individual grade level margins showed that the margin was again very close to 110 in respect of three grade levels – P4, P5, and D1. If it should fall below that level, the matter would have to be addressed urgently by the Commission and the General Assembly. It reiterated that for the executive heads there remained the ongoing and frequently repeated concern for the competitivity of UN system remuneration. It urged that the long-awaited study of the expanded Noblemaire Principle should therefore be undertaken in 2004. The Commission noted that, on the basis of the approved methodology the net remuneration margin for 2003 had been estimated at 111.9. It recalled that the Assembly, in resolution 57/285, had decided to adopt a different base/floor salary scale from the one recommended by the Commission and consequently the overall margin had not been restored to its desirable level of 115. The Commission decided to report the margin forecast of 111.9 to the Assembly (A/58/30, paras. 162-163)
(145) At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 9) the HR Network noted that the United Nations/United States net remuneration margins still showed significant differences between individual levels and expressed concern that the continuing low margins for the senior levels had an adverse impact on the organizations' efforts to strengthen their managerial capacities at those levels. It agreed that a differentiated increase would be appropriate in order to adjust the current significant differences between levels. ICSC decided to take note of the margin forecast of 110.3 between the net remuneration of the United Nations staff in grades P-1 to D-2 in New York and that of the United States federal civil service in Washington, D.C., for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2004 (A/59/30, para. 219). The General Assembly noted that the margin was 110.3 and reaffirmed that the range of 110 to 120 for the margin should continue to apply, on the understanding that the margin would be maintained at a level around the desirable midpoint of 115 over a period of time (resolution 59/268 II C).
(146) At the same meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 10) the Network, while noting the recommendation of the ICSC Secretariat to increase the common system base/floor salary scale, on a no-loss/no-gain basis, by 1.88 per cent effective 1 March 2005, requested that the effective date for the increase be moved to 1 January 2005, which was fully justifiable in view of the fact that the comparator's scale was revised on 1 January 2004. It also noted that the financial implications of the proposed increase would be approximately US$2 million per year, of which approximately 1.4 million would be related to the mobility and hardship allowance scheme. While noting that it could be "technically feasible" to decrease the base scale to address the issue of resulting real salary increases at duty stations with very low or zero post adjustment, the Network underscored its strong concern about the possible legal implications of such decrease. The Network considered that such an approach would be a further erosion of the Noblemaire principle and would further impede organizations' ability to recruit and retain staff from countries with base salaries higher than those of the common system. ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly that the current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 1.88 per cent through standard consolidation procedures, on a no-loss/no-gain basis, with effect from 1 January 2005. The Commission requested its secretariat to submit to it at its sixty-second session (Spring 2006) a further report, including all legal and financial implications, on the possibility of lowering the level of the base/floor salary scale, with the remaining portion of salary provided through the post adjustment(A/59/30, para. 234-235). The Assembly approved the revised base scale with effect from 1 January 2005 (resolution 59/268 II D).
(147) At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 13) the HR Network thanked the ICSC Secretariat for well-researched documents on the review of the Noblemaire principle, including total compensation comparisons (ICSC/59/R.11 and ICSC/59/CRP.6) that were both comprehensive and thoughtful and recognized the concerns voiced by Executive Heads and the Network at previous sessions of the Commission. It reiterated its position that problems with the system in the past were rooted in the non-application (rather than maintenance) of the Noblemaire principle and that this, in turn, had seriously undermined the competitivity of the common system. It would welcome the further development of the options set out in paragraph 26 of the paper, whilst acknowledging that option (a), recommending the maintenance of the current (non) application of the Noblemaire Principle, was wholly unacceptable. The Network would, therefore, advocate a combination of options (b) and (e), namely the use of other international and regional inter-governmental organizations and the highest non-diplomatic expatriate civil service as a comparator to common system competitivity. In that regard, recommendation 11 of the Panel on the Strengthening of the International Civil Service supported this approach. The Network also recognized that option (f) on the modification of the margin range to fully reflect the current comparator's expatriation benefits as an initial correction mechanism was not a solution to the underlying problem of the lack of competitivity in the pay and benefits of the common system with other international and regional organizations. ICSC decided to report to the General Assembly that in applying the Noblemaire principle its current practice of using the highest-paid national civil service, combined with a reference check with international organizations, was sound. The Commission had on its work programme for 2005-2006 a study to determine the highest-paid civil service, including a total comparison between the United Nations and the United States federal civil service (A/59/30, para. 273). The Assembly reaffirmed the continuing application of the Noblemaire principle and the need to continue to ensure the competitiveness of the conditions of service of the United Nations common system and took note of the Commission's decision (resolution 59/268 II A).
(148) At the same meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 14) the Network took note of the information contained in the document on the Establishment of grade equivalencies between the US federal civil service and the UN system (ICSC/59/R.11/Add.1) as the grade equivalency study would commence in the fall of 2004 and was a necessary underpinning of margin calculations. It welcomed the streamlined methodology and the improved use of technology that the ICSC secretariat intended to apply in the study. ICSC noted the approach proposed for the conduct of the grade equivalency study between the United Nations common system and the comparator, including the simplification of procedures through the new automated job evaluation system, and decided that work should proceed as follows: (a) a grade equivalency study should be conducted for the revised structure of the comparator's Senior Executive Service (SES) as soon as possible using two comparison methods, one which assigned a mid-point or average salary to all members of SES positions and the other which would link the common system grades with the comparator's SES performance based salary; (b) the results of the study should be reported to the Commission at its session in the second quarter of 2005; and (c) a grade equivalency study should be conducted for all other comparator pay systems in 2005, taking into account the experience gained from the approaches outlined in (a) above, and the results reported to the Commission at its session in the first quarter of 2006 (A/59/30, para. 276). The General Assembly took note of the decision and requested the Commission to include the review of grade equivalency in the study to determine the highest paid civil service on its work programme for 2005-2006 (resolution 59/268 II B).
(149) At its February 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, para. 11) the HR Network noted the proposal for an adjustment of the current P-4/VI net base/floor level by 2.49 per cent on a no-loss/no gain basis as of 1 January 2006. ICSC decided to recommend to the General Assembly that the current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 2.49 per cent through the standard consolidation procedures, on a no-loss/no-gain basis, with effect from 1 January 2006 (A/60/30, para. 193).
(150) Also at the same meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/8, para. 14) the Network took note of information provided by the ICSC secretariat on the results of the United Nations/United States grade equivalency studies (ICSC/60/R.10) which included an examination of the comparator's Senior Executive Service (SES). The secretariat reported delays in obtaining the required grade equivalency data because of changes in the comparator's data systems. The Network noted with interest that within the next several years, 70 per cent of the US federal civil service would be paid according to pay systems outside the General Schedule and that the comparator had in place a multitude of different pay and broadbanding systems. This approach contrasted with the decision of the Commission to use only one approach for the UN System pilot on broadbanding/reward for contribution. It agreed to collaborate closely with the ICSC secretariat to support the process, as had been done with the last two equivalency studies. The Network was confident that the process should result in a much more streamlined approach due to the new Master Standard. It also agreed to request the secretariat to propose how best to deal with the changed situation and realities in the comparator's civil service. ICSC decided to take note of the interim report and looked forward to receipt of more detailed information and discussion of the item at its July 2005 session (ICSC/60/R.13, para. 91).
(151) The Network at the same meeting (ibid., para. 15) considered a report (ICSC/60/R.11) on phase I of the Total Compensation comparison, the purpose of which was to gather sufficient data in order to identify those national civil services that appeared to have the highest cash compensation levels and therefore could be studied in depth in Phase II. The ICSC secretariat proposed Belgium, Switzerland and Germany for in-depth studying. Singapore, known to have a competitive civil service, was not included as an ongoing reform of its civil service had not permitted the ICSC Secretariat to obtain the necessary information to include it in the list of civil services to be studied. The Network thanked the ICSC secretariat for the information provided and recalled that Executive Heads attached the utmost importance to the Noblemaire Principle. It constituted the basic architecture of the entire pay and benefits system and CEB had repeatedly requested that the review of the Noblemaire principle proceed with utmost urgency. The Network welcomed the secretariat's suggestion to move into Phase II and to study in depth the proposed national civil services, i.e. Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. It proposed to also include additional civil services which in Phase I had come out with cash compensation levels below that of the comparator. At this point, it was important to adopt the broadest approach possible and therefore the Network would not recommend excluding some other national civil services, such as Singapore. ICSC decided to: (a) proceed with a phase II study of the Belgian, German, Singaporean and Swiss national civil services, (b) proceed to collect information on the remuneration levels of the World Bank and OECD as reference check only and (c) request its secretariat to provide it with a progress report at its sixty-first session on both (a) and (b) above so that it could report to the General Assembly (ICSC/60/R.13, para. 103).
(152) At its July 2005 meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/27, para. 7) the HR Network, in considering the evolution of the United Nations/United States remuneration margin, noted that of the seven grade levels in the Professional and higher categories, for which the margin was calculated, three had almost reached the lower end of the margin - 110.5, 110.3 and 110.5 for grades P-1, P-4 and P-5, respectively -, and that one grade, D-1, had fallen below the margin, to 109.8 and requested the Commission to recommend to the General Assembly to consider a real salary adjustment that would bring the remuneration margin closer to the mid-point of 115. It emphasized that the request for an adjustment was not a request for a salary increase but, more importantly, a request for adhering to the existing methodology. Only last year the General Assembly had reaffirmed that the range of 110 to 120 for the margin should continue to apply, on the understanding that it should be maintained around the mid-point of 115. If the current situation did not give rise to the application of the methodology, thus further eroding the Noblemaire Principle, the question could be asked whether it should continue to be called a methodology. Organizations, therefore, firmly believed that now was the time to apply the methodology. The Network reiterated its concern that organizations were no longer competitive and that it was becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain the expertise, often highly specialized, required for organizations to remain effective. This applied particularly to the D-1 level, the level that had now slipped below the margin - and which was precisely the level that held key managerial responsibilities in organizations and that was held accountable for leading and implementing change and reform. Not to correct this problem would only lead to the erosion of managerial capacity across the system, especially when one considered the large proportion of managerial staff who were expected to retire over the next five years. Organizations could no longer afford difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified managers and specialists at this level. ICSC decided to take note of the margin forecast of 111.1 between the net remuneration of United Nations staff in grades P-1 to D-2 in New York and that of the United States federal civil service in Washington, D.C., for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2005. It also decided to draw the attention of the General Assembly to the fact that the current level of the margin was 3.9 percentage points below the desirable midpoint of 115 (A/60/30, para. 185).
(153) At the same meeting (ibid., para. 12) the Network expressed appreciation for the work done on the total compensation comparisons under the Noblemaire principle to determine the highest paid civil service but expressed regret at the lack of progress which was due to the sweeping reforms underway in the comparator’s federal civil service. ICSC decided to: (a) take note of the progress made thus far in the study; (b) discontinue any further study with regard to Germany, Singapore and Switzerland; (c) continue the study with regard to Belgium; (d) continue the reference check with regard to the World Bank and OECD; and (e) request its secretariat to provide a further progress report at the 62nd session (A/60/30, para. 226).
(154) Also at the meeting (CEB/2005/HLCM/27, para. 13) the Network expressed regret with respect to the grade equivalency study that, due to the dramatic reforms being introduced in the US federal civil service under the Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004, the collection of the required data had not yet been possible. These extensive changes in the comparator’s system and the consequent delays in obtaining data clearly demonstrated the shortcomings of having one national civil service as the comparator and of using other international organizations – which were the UN System’s true competitors - only as a reference point. The executive heads had repeatedly indicated that the Noblemaire principle was not working as it was intended and that it had to be updated. As the work of the majority of the staff could no longer be compared to that of a largely home-based national civil service, the importance the executive heads attached to this subject was reflected in the statement that the CEB had adopted for transmission to the Commission at its spring 2004 session (see Section 2.16, para. 39). ICSC decided to take note of the progress made and of further work to be done in connection with the grade equivalency exercise and looked forward to a report from its secretariat at its spring session in 2006 (A/60/30, para. 211).
(155) At its eleventh meeting (CEB/2006/HLCM/12, paras.22-23), the Network indicated its belief in the importance of comparators of UN pay scales with those of other civil services, noting that the Noblemaire approach needed to be applied in a comprehensive manner. The Commission, taking into account the changes taking place in the United States federal civil service, expressed its continued commitment to the work on the SES grade equivalency study, which, it felt, should continue according to two separate methodologies. Accordingly, the Commission decided: (a) To take note of the status of the grade equivalency exercise. (b) To approve the list of occupations proposed in the annex and to delegate authority to the Chairman to include further occupations deemed appropriate on the basis of additional information, if provided by the organisations. (c) To request the secretariat to continue the job evaluation study for positions in the General Schedule and other associated pay systems by reference to the current methodology. (d) To request the secretariat to provide a proposal for revising the methodology to be applied to abroad banded pay-for-performance system such as SES. (e) To request the secretariat to report to the Commission on the above matters at its 2007 spring session.
(156) At the same meeting (paras 24-31) and in light of reviews of documents ICSC/62/R.11 and CRP.5, the HR Network noted that the Belgian civil service seemed ‘better paid’ with regard to pension benefits and had more favourable as concerned leave, holiday and work hours; that the Belgian civil service was equal to the US federal civil service concerning health insurance provisions; salaries were significantly higher than comparators at the lowest end of the US federal civil service and matched those of the highest level of comparators. However, during the meeting it came to light that an error had been made in the calculation of Belgian salaries. The HR Network asked, and the ICSC decided to, postpone consideration until the 63rd session.
(157) A reference check with the World Bank and OECD indicated that staff members were being lost to other civil services. The HR Network urged the Commission to consider other internal civil services as potential competitors and requested clarification on the reported narrowing of the gap in net remuneration (ICSC/62/R.12). The Commission decided to report that the UN organisations were 29% ahead of UN common system. There had been drop in the favourability of the benefits in the OECD’s favour since 1995 from 39% in favour to 14% in favour.
(158) At its meeting of July 2006 at the UN (CEB/2006/HLCM/17, para.8), in relation to document ICSC/63/R.7, the HR Network expressed reservations about the adequacy of the sample size Senior Executive Service (SES) for establishing a sound basis for the correct measurement of the net remuneration margin. The HR Network requested that the ICSC take an additional sample from the SES group. The Commission decided to request its secretariat to: (a) Enlarge the sample for further study of the SES positions. (b) Continue the study of the SES positions, in conjunction with study of the General Schedule and other relevant pay systems. (c) Provide the Commission with a status report at its 64th session in March 2007. (d) Report to the Commission on the final results at its 65th session in July 2007. (e) Explore the feasibility of comparing standards in lieu of auditing jobs
(159) At the previous session, the ICSC had requested that its secretariat produce an outline of the procedure for calculating the net margin between the UN and its comparator, the US federal civil service (ICSC/63/R.8). At its twelth session (CEB/2006/HLCM/17, para.9), the HR Network took note of this document and recalled the significant detrimental effect incorrect calculation could have upon staff retention. It was noted that bonuses had been included in the calculation up until 1990.
(160) At the same meeting, having received a report on the differences between remuneration among UN staff in grades P-1 to D-2 and their counterparts in the UN federal civil service, the HR Network noted that the average margin level for the last five years had been below the desirable midpoint of 115.0; it asked the Commission to recommend a real salary increase to enable this average to be achieved. The HR Network further noted that in doing so the Commission would be maintaining methodological integrity. Further information was requested regarding the forecast of the 2006 weighted average, which stood at 114.0. The Commission decided to draw the attention of the General Assembly to the fact that the margin had yet to reach 115, being 111.3 over five years.
(161) At the same meeting, upon receiving a revised comparison of compensation in the UN and Belgian civil services (ICSC/62/R.12), the HR Network welcomed ICSC/63/R.15 and ICSC/63/CRP.4/Ad.10, and called for a further review of the Noblemaire principle. The Commission decided to conclude its current Noblemaire study, noting the current comparator would be retained.
(162) The HR Network agreed with the Secretariat’s recommendation to adjust base/floor salary sale on a no-loss/no-gain basis by 4.57% effective 1 January 2007. The Commission decided to inform the General Assembly that its present recommendation superseded its 2005 base/floor recommendation, which had not been acted on by the Assembly and reflected the movement of comparator net salaries in the two-year period 2005-2006. In that context, the Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that: * The current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 4.57 per cent through the standard consolidation procedures on the basis of the standard method of reducing post adjustment multiplier points and increasing net salary, i.e. on a no loss/no gain basis, with effect from 1 January 2007. * The new arrangements for the mobility and hardship scheme, as recommended to the Assembly in paragraph 108 of the annual report of ICSC for 2005, be introduced concurrently with the adjustment of the base/floor salary scale, that is, as from 1 January 2007.
(163) At the 14th session of the HR Network (CEB/2007/HR/14, para.78), the Commission decided to report to the General Assembly that the margin between the net remuneration of the United Nations staff in grades P-1 to D-2 in New York and that of the United States federal civil service in Washington D.C., for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2007, was estimated at 113.9. It also drew the attention of the Assembly to the fact that the average margin level for the past five years (2003-2007) had been below the desirable midpoint of 115, currently standing at 112.3.
(164) At the same session, the HR Network supported the Commission’s recommendation to the General Assembly - for approval with effect as of 1 January 2008 – that the base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories reflects a 1.97 per cent adjustment implemented through the standard consolidation method of increasing base salary and commensurately reducing post adjustment multiplier points.
(165) At the HR Network’s sixteenth session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 5-6), the Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that the current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 2.33 per cent through the standard consolidation procedures, namely, by increasing base salary while commensurately reducing post adjustment levels, with effect from 1 January 2009.
(166) At the same session (CEB/2008/HLCM/HR/35, paras. 7-8), the Commission decided to report to the General Assembly that the margin between the net remuneration of United Nations staff in grades P-1 to D-2 in New York and that of the United States federal civil service in Washington, D.C., for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2008, was estimated at 114.1. It also drew the attention of the Assembly to the fact that the average margin level for the past five years (2004-2008) had been below the desirable mid-point of 115, currently standing at 113.0.
(167) The details of the comparison of average net remuneration of United Nations staff in the Professional and higher categories in New York and United States officials in Washington, D.C., by equivalent grades (margin for calendar year 2008) are presented in its Annual Report. The Commission also requested its Chairman to update this estimate based on the actual post adjustment multiplier for New York and 31 December 2007 CEB staff statistics, if available.
(168) At its sixteenth session in New York (CEB/2008/5, para. 159), HLCM: a) Noted with concern the significant decline in professional salaries in euro-denominated duty stations, in real terms, over the past 7 years; b) Requested the HR Network to consider document CEB/2008/HLCM/23 further, either by video conference or electronically, and to report on its recommendations to the HLCM by 31 October 2008; c) Encouraged ACPAQ and the ICSC to resolve this issue.
(169) At its seventeenth session (CEB/2009/3, para.42), regarding the issue of declining Professional Salaries in Euro-zone countries, HCLM noted with appreciation that the IAEA and other organizations, with the support of the HR Network, were following this matter closely with ICSC. The Committee requested to be kept informed on this issue at its next session.
(170) At the eighteenth session of the HR Network (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.14-15), the Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that the current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be adjusted by 3.04 per cent through the standard consolidation procedure, i.e., by increasing base salary while commensurately reducing post adjustment levels, with effect from 1 January 2010. The proposed base/floor salary scale resulting from this adjustment is shown in annex IV to the present report (A/64/30). The Commission requested its secretariat, in cooperation with the organizations, to collect the common system staff separation statistics every five years and, on that basis, to update as necessary the formula used for estimating the financial implications relating to separation payments. The HR Network noted the adjustment and supported the proposal.
(171) At the same session (CEB/2009/HLCM/HR/46/Rev.1, paras.16-17), the HR Network took note of the updated estimate of 114.0 for 2009 and urged the Commission to draw the attention of the General Assembly to the fact that the margin average has been consistently below the desirable midpoint of 115 since 1997. The Commission noted the estimated 2009 and the five-year average net remuneration margin levels as reported in paragraph 71 of A/64/30. It also requested its Chairman, in line with current practice, to update the estimate of the margin when on the actual post adjustment multiplier for New York for August to December 2009 became known and to report to the General Assembly accordingly.
(172) At its twentieth session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.33-34), the HR Network supported the 1.37 percent adjustment of the base/floor salary scale effective 1 January 2011. The Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly that the current base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories be increased by 1.37 per cent through the standard consolidation procedure, i.e., by increasing base salary while commensurately reducing post adjustment levels, with effect from 1 January 2011. The proposed base/floor salary scale is shown in annex IV .
(173) At the same session (CEB/2010/HLCM/HR/35, paras.35-36), the HR Network noted the estimated margin level for the period 1 January to 31 December 2010 and reiterated its concern that the average margin level for the past five years remained below the desirable level of 115.
(174) The Commission decided to report to the General Assembly that the margin forecast between the net remuneration of officials in the Professional and higher categories of the United Nations in New York and officials in comparable positions in the United States federal civil service in Washington, D.C., for the year 2010 was estimated at 113.3. It also decided to draw the attention of the General Assembly to the fact that the current average margin level for the past five years (2006-2010) was estimated at 114.0, which remained below the desirable midpoint of 115. Details of the margin calculation were contained in annex V. The Commission also decided that its secretariat should commence work on the review of the net remuneration margin methodology in 2011 and to report on its findings at the seventy-fifth session of ICSC.
(175) At its twenty second session in Geneva (CEB/2011/HLCM/HR/19, paras. 41-42), the HR Network thanked the ICSC Secretariat for its report and took note of the adjustment to the Tax Equalization Fund and the increase in monitoring frequency. It also noted the recommendation to increase the base/floor salary by 0.13%. The Commission decided to recommend to the General Assembly for approval with effect from 1 January 2012: (a) The revised base/floor salary scale for the Professional and higher categories as shown in annex V to the ICSC report (A/66/30), reflecting a 0.13 per cent adjustment implemented by increasing the base salary and commensurately reducing post adjustment multiplier points; (b) The revised rates of staff assessment used in conjunction with gross base salaries for the Professional and higher categories of staff as set out in annex V to the ICSC report (A/66/30). The revised rates would be calculated and added to the net dependency rates of salaries to determine the corresponding gross salary levels. The staff assessment amounts for single staff would be computed by subtracting the net single rate from the gross salary at each grade and step in the salary scale. The Commission also decided that the staff assessment rates used in conjunction with gross salaries be reviewed every three years and revised as appropriate.