24th February 2020
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UN FAO staff resume work after a short-lived strike

Author: Kelly Abale | Published: 9 months ago

FAO national staff staging a protest at the Juba's main office on May 15, 2019. PHOTO: Kelly Abale/Eye Radio

National staff of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization have resumed work shortly after staging a strike over lack of hardship allowance.

Yesterday, the staff walk out of their duty station citing discriminatory pay of Risk Allowance by FAO.

They said the International Civil Service Commission in New York recently issued a circular to pay all locally recruited staff the Danger Pay.

The staff said other UN agencies are already paying allowances to all of their workers in line with the directives from the UN in New York.

They spent better half of the day yesterday standing infront of FAO office building – which is their duty station -refusing to work.

But after meeting with FAO’s Country Director, they agreed to resume work the same day.

Gama Joseph, the chairman of the national staff union said FAO promised to look into their grievances.

“The Director is very clear in his message; he said he is going to take up the issue with headquarters, and especially the HR is going to forward all this information, and then he will get clarifications from them, then give us feedback within one week,” he said.

The national staff also demanded proper medical insurance- in form of insurance cards -that includes dependents, and one that is reliable and accessible.

FAO is reported to only give reimbursement to staff after one gets medical attention. This policy has been described by the staff as “slow, demanding and unreliable.”

“Our aim was just to walk out and to protest about the silence of FAO headquarters towards our concerns. Our walkout was to tell them we are serious about our concerns,” Mr.Gama said.

The chairman said all the national staffs in Juba and the field offices have resumed work.

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