WHO job cuts
Matthew Parish from Holman Fenwick Willan came into the studio (14th November) several weeks after our initial interview with him to see how the situation had changed sincethen.
Mark's recent guest on the Breakfast Show was Ed Flaherty.
Ed is an American lawyer and senior partner in the Swiss law firm of Schwab, Flaherty, & Associés in Geneva; he is also vice chairman and legal counsel to Republicans Abroad Switzerland. He focuses his practice on representing whistleblowers, staff members and third parties working for or injured by international organisations such as the UN, UNHCR WIPO, WHO, ILO, etc. He is presently representing a several IO staff members in test cases before the European Court of Human Rights, and in US Federal Courts in NYC. He is also cofounder of IO Watch (http://www.iowatch.org/), and the Centre for Accountability of International Organisations (http://www.caio-ch.org/See also http://www.unreform-now.org/). He is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court, and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He received his BA from Tufts Universtiy, and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School, Boston.
Mark talked to Ed about employee rights for those working for international organisations, especially relevant at the moment because of the planned lay-offs announced by the World Health Organisation. Also, are these issues likely to become more important as budgets across the sector are being squeezed as governments across the globe look to save money.
The World Health Organisation has announced that 500 of its Geneva staff will be losing their jobs over the coming year.
The cuts, which have already started, are part of major reforms demanded by WHO member states.
The organisation is currently working to relocate 200 of its staff internally; either to other clusters or away from headquarters, but for an unlucky 300 it's the end of the line.
What does this mean in practical terms for the staff members getting the sack? How have they been treated? What options do they have now?
Radio frontier has been digging a little deeper...
The WHO story will be aired throughout the week starting 10.10.11 (at 0740 then 0940 and edits will be put online)
TUESDAY: WHO and Staff Association on job cuts.
WEDNESDAY: Legality and legal recourse for laid off staff members. (With Ed Flaherty)
THURSDAY: Legal bills could sink the organisation (with Matthew Parish from Holman Fenwick Wilan)
FRIDAY: We hear from a laid off staff member.
"It's like a chronic, silent gangrene that's cultivated over the years. It's not something that comes all of a sudden, but the cuts now are brutal. What is most upsetting about this, is that it looks like no one is accountable, no one is responsible.” Senior technical scientist at WHO .
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