US calls for UN pay raise to be rescinded

August 30, 2011 01:13

UNITED NATIONS - The United States called on Monday for the rescinding of a nearly 3 percent cost of living pay raise to almost 5,000 UN employees in New York, saying it was inappropriate at a time of global austerity.

In a letter to the independent body that awarded the raise, senior US diplomat Joseph Torsella said Washington "strongly objects" to the measure, which took effect on Aug. 1 and covers around 4,800 UN international staff.

While UN base salaries have been frozen, the raise came in a so-called "post adjustment" added on to ensure that UN staff around the world have the same purchasing power. In his letter, obtained by Reuters, Torsella said it would mean a nearly 3 percent net increase in New York salaries.

"Such a raise is inappropriate at this time of global fiscal austerity, when member state governments everywhere are implementing drastic austerity measures such as layoffs, service reductions, revenue increases, and reductions in pay and benefits for civil servants," he said.

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