The AIIC delegation began the session with a preliminary statement setting forth the grounds for its position as well as the reasons behind the claims made by interpreters. It then submitted proposals based on the principle of “equal pay for equal work”, calling for seven sessions (sittings) a week instead of eight (just like UN staff interpreters) and a substantial increase in daily rates according to the figures determined by the sectoral meetings which had been held in the various headquarters cities as of 10 February 2000. These proposals were based on the principle of treatment equal to that accorded to staff interpreters. The representatives of the administrations categorically rejected these proposals, and continued to insist on “flexibility” in working conditions; in other terms, an increase in working load. The AIIC delegation refused to even consider any change in working conditions, stressing that: these conditions had been defined by the UN for staff and free lance interpreters alike ever since 1974 in conformity with a series of official texts still in force; these conditions already offered all the flexibility necessary; they were frequently violated by some organisations in spirit if not in letter. After two days of intense and often tense discussion, the organisations finally had to accept no change whatsoever to present working conditions. Regarding an increase in daily rates, and after two sessions in a smaller bilateral working group, they made an offer ranging from a 3-7% increase according to the distinct headquarters cities. Despite the negotiating delegation’s efforts, this offer is quite lower than the figures presented by the local sectoral meetings. It became quite clear that there was no chance of making further progress through negotiation, and the delegation deemed it necessary to report back to colleagues. It therefore informed the UN administrations that it would present this proposal to all the interpreters working for the UN sector, but without any guarantees as to their reaction. The organisations also offered to lower the cost of living indexation trigger threshold from 5% to 3%. This indexation mechanism would start up anew as of 1 January 2000. The figures on the table at the end of the meeting late Tuesday afternoon still have to be confirmed individually by the organisations, and therefore do not constitute an official proposal for the moment. As soon as the organisations officially notify their definitive position – in a few days time – members will be duly informed. Local sectoral meetings will be held during the coming days or weeks in order to decide on follow up to these events. If adopted, the new rates will enter into force as of 1 May 2000, including contracts already signed. The negotiating delegation pointed out that the measures applied as of 1 April (e.g. notified claim for a higher daily rate and written confirmation of offers) would be suspended as soon as the organisations had officially notified their proposal on the new daily rates, and this until colleagues had the possibility to meet and decide in a sectoral assembly. Keep a close eye on this site for any and all information about the definitive figures and the decisions of local sectoral meetings. Please pass on this information to colleagues without access to Internet.
Recommended citation format:
United Nations Negotiating Delegation.
"AIIC-CCAQ negotiations: status report".
April 19, 2000.
Accessed November 12, 2019.