United Nations Conceals Inconvenient Salary Data
Brett Schaefer /
The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) recently updated its information on salaries for U.N. personnel, but it is concealing some very important information.
Earlier this week, I wrote a paper using U.N. information detailing how net remuneration for U.N. professional staff is 31.3 percent higher than that of theirU.S. equivalents inWashington and urging theU.S. to call for a pay freeze until U.N. salaries fall to the level ofU.S. civil servants.
This salary information comes from the annex of a report by the ICSC. Ambassador Joseph Torsella, U.S. Representative to the United Nations on Management and Reform, highlighted this information earlier this year, stating that U.N. employees “deserve to be properly compensated for their work.… But with average UN professional pay now at nearly 130% of averageUS federal civil-service pay inWashington—the system is becoming seriously distorted.”
I followed up this past July when the ICSC was meeting to determine U.N. compensation for the upcoming period and specifically highlighted the ICSC table with the salary comparison. (See Annex VI p. 75 here.) My latest paper on this topic highlights updated data from the advance 2012 report. (See Annex VI p. 88 here.)
However, the 2012 annex does not include the column included in the previous report comparing U.N. salaries versus their Washington-based U.S. equivalents. Instead, the ICSC presented only the data that incorporated its cost-of-living adjustment forNew York. A new footnote provided the information necessary to calculate the Washington comparison, but it requires additional effort and some basic math.
The result was to conceal the salary discrepancy highlighted by Ambassador Torsella and The Heritage Foundation. The most reasonable motivation behind this change is to prevent easy access to inconvenient data. The 2012 ICSC report is an advance copy, hopefully the final version will correct this clumsy attempt at obfuscation.