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Facing steep pay cut, UN staffers realize they might as well work in the private sector

A day after fast food workers and union organizers marched in Chicago demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage (and health care, and child care, and free college tuition, climate justice, and so on), angry U.N. staffers in Geneva, Switzerland were feeling their pain and threatening to strike over a proposed 7.5 percent pay cut.


No one likes a pay cut, and Ian Richards, executive secretary of the Staff Coordinating Council, warned that it could harm the U.N.’s goal of attracting the best and brightest minds from the private sector to help the U.N. reach its Sustainable Development Goals.

“No one in their right mind will leave their job for an organization that from one day to the next can cut pay by one month a year for existing staff,” he argued.

Then again, no one in the U.N. has to worry about actually producing results in order to stay in business — or do they? Enter President Trump:

Trump’s proposal would cut nearly $19 billion from U.S. diplomacy and aid budgets, including $1 billion from U.N. peacekeeping. “The figures presented would simply make it impossible for the U.N. to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance,” a spokesperson said in a statement.


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