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After Staff No Confidence in Ban, Graisse Can't Get a Meeting, Gettu in Wings

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- Fifty days after the UN Staff Union voted “no confidence” in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ban's outgoing chief of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management Jean-Jacques Graisse can't even get a meeting with his staff.

  On March 28, Graisse wrote to Staff Union leaders as well as Ban officials Susana Malcorra, Catherine Pollard and Franz Baumann, asking for an “emergency” meeting on April 3. He said it concerned the “force majeure” event of Hurricane Sandy, which allowed the UN to move on plans to kill off publishing jobs.

  On April 2, Graisse's office asked, “May we propose to meet for an emergency DGACM staff-management consultation on Friday, 5th April, from 10 to 12 in the morning, in room S-1517, to discuss the current temporary situation resulting from the impact of storm Sandy with regards to the Publishing Section staff? Our invitation to President of the Staff Union to participate in the meeting if she finds it acceptable and useful remains open.”

After some back and forth, he was told that some in the Union, due to the no confidence vote of January 24, would decline to meet with him. And this turned out to be true:

As stated previously we intend to abide by the vote of no confidence taken by the EGM of the staff. It will be up to the staff to mandate us to meet with the management.

Just to remind all of our fellow DGACM we initiated a dialogue with Mr. Graisse when he first came subsequent to that meeting and the subsequent meeting that included Mr. Baumann, we went back and forth on the issue of the meeting record being falsified and our position being misrepresented. Despite repeated attempts to have this corrected by them and their refusal, this matter is now before MEU. The illegal actions by Mr. Baumann to restructure the Publishing Section without mandate and the pretext of a vague plan in an Annex of a budget proposal was the subject of tribunal orders of Suspension of Action and Interim Relief. To remind you, the Tribunal in Order No. 77 (NY/2013) of 27 March 2013 "order[ed] the Respondent to suspend the implementation of the decision to conduct a recruitment exercise via Inspira, or by any other means whatsoever, for 19 new posts in the Publishing Section, DGACM, for a period of 60 days from the date of this Order or pending a final determination of the substantive merits of the application, if sooner, or until such further Order as may be deemed appropriate by the Tribunal".

It is our position that DGACM has continually acted without regard to any mandates, rules, or staff rights. Let us not waste anymore time meeting with a management in which the staff has no confidence and continue to show bad faith to us. In calling for the meeting, Mr. Graisse stated that "[t]he urgency is dictated by the fact that a number of PS staff currently have no meaningful work assignments - a situation unacceptable to them as well to the management and Member States." This is not a cause for staff-management consultation, but an indictment of the incompetency and failure of the management of DGACM.

The DGACM management must show that it is sincere in establishing proper relations or willing to mend their ways and work to rebuilding trust and the confidence of the staff. Regrettably, I don't see this happening with the DGACM management of Mr. Graisse, Mr. Baumann, Mr. Olafsson, Ms. Chiulli, Mr. Nanadoe and Mr. Shpiniov.

And there you have it. But will it be different with Graisse replaced by Gettu? There's talk of businesses in Addis. Meanwhile Ban himself has been in San Marina, Andorra and Monaco.

  Ban USG for Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous openly refuses to answer Press questions about spreading cholera and rapes by the UN's partners.

 Ban's Department of Public Information raided the Press' office, while the president of the UN's Censorship Alliance Pam Falk of CBS took photos. Now DPI won't even give the names of those allowed by it to enter. So it goes at the UN. Watch this site.

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