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UN - frequently asked questions about the UN sector agreement

1. Which Organisations are bound by the Agreement between AIIC and the Organisations of the United Nations Common System of Salaries, Allowances and other Benefits?
a. The following member Organisations of the UN Common System
b. The following other Organisations
2. Are interpreters who are not AIIC members bound by the Agreement when working for member Organisations?
3. What rules apply for the professional domicile?
4. When recruiting for a meeting, can Organisations that are party to the Agreement ask for bids?
5. What are the applicable Agreement rates?
5a. World rate or Headquarter rate?
6. Manning strength

1. Which Organisations are bound by the Agreement between AIIC and the Organisations of the United Nations Common System of Salaries, Allowances and other Benefits?

a. The following member Organisations of the UN Common System:

The United Nations (including its departments, Offices and Regional Commissions as well as Funds and Programmes and other entities administered by the United Nations Secretariat)

UNNY

UN Headquarters New York

UNOG

UN Office Geneva

UNOV [1]

UN Office Vienna

UNON

UN Office Nairobi

 

ECA

Economic Commission for Asia

ECE

Economic Commission for Europe

ECLAC

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

ESCAP

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific

ESCWA

Economic and Social Commission for West Asia

 

OHCHR

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN-HABITAT

UN Human Settlements Programme

UNAIDS

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

UNCC

United Nations Compensation Commission

UNCTAD

UN Conference on Trade and Development

UNDP

UN Development Programme

UNEP

UN Environment Programme

UNHCR

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UNICEF

UN Children's Fund

UNIDO

UN Industrial Development Organisation

UNOPS

United Nations Office for Project Services

UNU

UN University

UNFPA

UN Populations Fund

UNODC

UN Office on Drugs and Crime

UNWRA

UN Relief and Works Agency

 

ICTR

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

ICTY

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

 

ILO

International Labour Organisation

including its regional offices for

Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Arab States, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia

 

WHO

World Health Organisation

including its regional offices for

Africa (AFRO), Americas (AMRO) , Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), Europe (EURO), South-East Asia (SEARO), Western Pacific (WPRO)

CIARC

International Center for Cancer Research, Lyon

OCP

Onchocerciasis Programme

PAHO

Pan American Health Organisation

 

CTBTO

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation

FAO

Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency

ICAO

International Civil Aviation Organisation

IFAD

International Fund for Agricultural Development

ITC

International Trade Centre

IMO

International Maritime Organisation

ITU

International Telecommunication Union

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UPOV

International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

UPU

Universal Postal Union

WFP

World Food Programme

WIPO [2]

World Intellectual Property Organisation

WMO

World Meteorological Organisation

b. The following other Organisations:

COE

Ecumenical Council of Churches

EFTA

European Free Trade Association

ICDO

International Civil Defence Organisation

IOM

International Migration Organisation

NAM

Non-Aligned Movement

OSCE

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

WTO

World Trade Organisation

NB: Neither the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE nor the International Criminal Court (ICC) have ratified or adhered to the Agreement.

2. Are interpreters who are not AIIC members bound by the Agreement when working for member Organisations?

All short term conference interpreters are bound by the agreement, AIIC members and non-members.

3. What rules apply for the professional domicile?

Any AIIC member's professional domicile is published in the AIIC Yearbook (also on-line, "members"). Non-members have to specify their professional domicile when accepting a contract from an Organisation which is party to the Agreement.

AIIC members and non-members must keep their chosen professional domicile for at least six months. (Art.8) AIIC professional standards ("Professional standards") further require any change of domicile to be notified three months ahead of time.

The professional domicile does not have to correspond to the interpreter's place of residence or his/her mailing address; however, an interpreter cannot claim more than one professional domicile at the time. The professional domicile must be a locality, not a country or a region.

4. When recruiting for a meeting, can Organisations that are party to the Agreement ask for bids?

The present Agreement is a collective agreement concluded by the Organisations of the UN Common System (employers) and AIIC (workers' organisation). Within the framework of a collective agreement, there can be no bidding for recruitment.

Working conditions and remuneration are set and the terms of the Agreement provide a legally binding framework for both parties (Organisations and interpreters).

5. What are the applicable Agreement rates?

Current agreement rates are posted on the AIIC website, « Agreement Rates ». These rates are periodically adjusted for cost of living increases. The World Rate is adjusted quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1).

The agreement rates are net of income tax and staff assessment. If taxes were to be levied on income from work for one of the Organisations that are party to the agreement, the Organisation would endeavour to reimburse these taxes. However, FAO, UPU and IFAD have entered a reservation concerning the possible reimbursement of taxes due to specific regulations in their staff rules.

Organisations are committed to help interpreters avoid this type of problem by delivering written declarations confirming that short term interpreters are officials of the employing Organisations for the duration of their employment and thus entitled to the privileges and immunities pertaining to that status.

5a. World rate or Headquarter rate?

1. Interpreters domiciled in the following regions, when working in their home region, are entitled to the relevant Headquarter rate:

  • Austria
  • France
  • Italy
  • North America
  • Switzerland
  • UK

e.g.: interpreters domiciled anywhere in North America (US or Canada), working in New York

2. Interpreters domiciled in any of these regions working outside their home region are paid the World Rate, e.g. interpreters domiciled in Paris, working in Geneva or colleagues domiciled in Mexico working in New York

3. Interpreters domiciled in any region other than the ones above are always paid the World rate, e.g. interpreters domiciled in Germany, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America etc.

6. Manning strength

For multilingual meetings: as many booths as there are conference languages. every booth manned by at least two interpreters; two-way booths (e.g. Arabic, Japanese, Chinese) manned by at least three interpreters, two out of which must be able to work from their mother tongue into another language.

For bilingual meetings, same basic rule: two booths, two interpreters per booth, or one two-way booth, manned by three interpreters, provided all of them can work into both conference languages.

If warranted by circumstances [3], a single two-way booth can be manned by two interpreters, provided both of them can work into both working languages, and they are paid 160% of the rate which is due to them.

The increased rate to be paid is justified by the extra workload resulting from this arrangement for the interpreters.


[1] UNOV's interpretation section recruits for all Vienna-based organisations who are party to the agreement: IAEA, CTBTO. UNIDO and UNODC
[2] WIPO interpretation service recruits for UPOV
[3] e.g. scarcity of local interpreters, short meetings, lack of space in conference hall




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