Page 29 - FSJ June 2012

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J U N E 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
the United Nations. Central to the
effort was ensuring that all U.N.
staff — including 60,000 locally-
hired “Field Staff,” a group approx-
imately analogous to LES in
number and situation—had access
to an ombudsman and the United
Nations Dispute Tribunal at head-
All on the Same Team
IFSA members seek the same
fundamental justice in the work-
place for LES employees that their Foreign and Civil Serv-
ice colleagues already enjoy. Many have devoted their
entire careers to the State Department and other foreign
affairs agencies, and should be treated as full members of
the team.
Since the major management decisions that affect
LES employees come from Washington, a dialogue that
is limited to exchanges with post
management is not sufficient to
secure their rights. Structural re-
forms, including access to an ap-
peals system in Washington and a
transparent dialogue between the
State Department and LES staff,
are essential to management ac-
countability and maintaining trust
in the fairness of the workplace.
Integration of local employees
as partners in the decisions that
most affect them will strengthen
the foundations for constructive partnerships across the for-
eign affairs community. Together with AFSA and other al-
lies, IFSA hopes to encourage the U.S. StateDepartment to
move toward an enlightened, modern and transparent em-
ployment policy that furthers the goals of U.S. diplomacy
and serves all of our interests.
Such an approach is long overdue.
In May 2007 the Office
of the Inspector General
urged State to codify in
one place and strengthen
its commitment to LES.
It still has not done so.