Wednesday, August 17, 2011

US Mission at the UN: Disparity is a fact of USUN life

The OIG recently reviewed the US Mission at the United Nations. Below is a quick snapshot of work there:

The nature of the work at USUN and its multiple employment categories mean that there will never be parity in pay, work hours, or benefits among all the members of staff in any of these sections. That disparity is a fact of USUN life. The rewards for these staff members come with the work itself and the recognition that they get from the executive office or their supervisors for jobs well done. During the 4-week inspection, the OIG team witnessed several occasions where UN negotiations dragged on until 3:30 or even 5:30 in the morning. USUN staff members were not only involved in discussions until the very end, but they were back at work an hour before the official work day started to report on overnight developments and prepare for the next round. One officer followed this routine 3 days in a row but never flagged. Like professionals on Wall Street, some of the USUN staff members will burn out and move on to jobs with more rational work hours after a few years, but many will stay, testing their stamina year after year. Those whose business it is to monitor the use of U.S. Government resources may not realize the benefits they derive from the unremunerated labor of the USUN policy and negotiating staff. However, the mission would not have registered the recent successes it has achieved in the multilateral arena or advanced American interests so well without it.
Read in full here (pdf),

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