Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations of the United Nations System

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CCISUA logo.gif
Full name Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations of the United Nations System
Founded 1982
Members 40,000
Affiliation GFTU
Key people Christopher Land-Kazlauskas, ILO Staff Union
Rihda Zargouni, United Nations Office Geneva
Stefano Berterame, UN Staff Union Vienna
Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF
Guy Avognon, UNHCR
Country United Nations

The Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations of the United Nations System (CCISUA) is an international federation composed of UN system staff unions and associations. It coordinates the activities of unions and staff associations in a number of UN organisations, including UNICEF, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and the International Labour Organization. CCISUA also represents staff of the International Criminal Court, who affiliated in 2010. The ICC is not a UN agency, but is an international organisation that shares many of the characteristics of the UN.

There are two labour federations serving unions and staff associations in the UN system, the other organisation being FICSA.

Industrial relations in the UN system[edit]

Trade unions and staff associations of the United Nations system are unique because UN staff do not have a single employer: they are employed by the 193 member states. Because they work for an international agency, they are not protected by any national labour legislation or international convention. Although freedom of association is written into the UN staff regulations, national unions are not recognised, and terms and conditions are negotiated directly with representatives of the member states. The first collective agreement recognised by the UN system was signed with CCISUA affiliate the ILO Staff Union in 2000.

UN Staff Regulation (SR) 8.1 allows for staff representative bodies to be established at each UN organisation or mission and for those bodies to represent the interests of the staff. Each UN mission or organisation has established its own union or staff association, and these are affiliated to either CCISUA or FICSA.

Issues for UN staff[edit]

UN staff face many of the same issues as workers in national economies, and CCISUA affiliates represent both blue collar staff - such as security guards - as well as white collar UN civil servants. CCISUA affiliates do not represent UN Peacekeepers, who are made up of military and police personal contributed by member states.

There are a number of industrial relations issues that are peculiar to working within the UN system. The most importance of these is perhaps the fact the UN staff are not protected by labour legislation, which means that all conditions needed to be negotiated directly with employer representatives.

Also of great concern are the dangers to staff working in conflict and other non-secure locations. Many UN staff are killed in the line of duty.

Another area of concern is the prevalence of short term contracts in the UN system, the lack of job security and long term career development.


CCISUA shares fraternal links with the wider labour movement through its affiliation to the GFTU, and through the GFTU to the European Trade Union Confederation and the International Trade Union Confederation.


Trade unions and staff associations of the following UN and international organisations are affiliated to CCISUA.


Some information for this article was taken from a Masters thesis by Rick Cottam, president of the ICTY Staff Union.

External links[edit]