A conservative think tank is urging the federal government to
fight a salary increase for U.N. employees.
U.N. has a body called the International Civil Service Commission,
which sets U.N. salaries for about 80 percent of U.N. employees in
the general body and 13 other groups in the U.N. system. According
to the ICSC's own reports, U.N. employees are already paid 31.3% higher than their U.S. government
counterparts in Washington, DC.
Some of that salary differential has to do with a higher cost of
living in New York City, where most of the U.N. employees live.
However, Brett Schaefer, spokesman for International Regulatory
Affairs at The
Heritage Foundation, says there is no evidence that U.N.
employees work harder than federal employees.
"Anecdotal evidence actually indicates that U.N. employees work
quite a bit less strenuously than U.S. civil servants do," he says.
"Regardless, U.S. civil servants do work in New York as well, and
the U.S. calculates the cost-of-living differential between
Washington, DC, and New York to be about 3.6 percent. So U.S. civil
servants have a bump in salary to account for that."
Even so, the U.N. has a cost-of-living adjustment of its own at
about 12 percent. However, Schaefer says U.N. rules require that
its salaries be equivalent to the highest civil service in the
world, which happens to be that of the U.S. civil service.
Meanwhile, U.S. employee salaries are under a pay freeze due to the
state of the economy.
"This year, [the U.N. is] proposing a salary increase of just
under two percent," Schaefer tells OneNewsNow. "The General
Assembly approved the salary increase last year. The ICSC this year
said, 'We're going to defer the salary increase,' but unless the
General Assembly decides not to approve it, it's going to apply
retroactively anyway in January. So the U.S. government has a
substantial task in front of them to try and convince the other
member states to oppose this salary increase."
The U.S. is already the largest contributor to the United
Nations and most of its organizations, paying 22 percent of the
Other benefits in working for the U.N. include tax-exempt
salaries, 30 days of paid vacation, and education grants.