Judgment No. 1196
THE COMPLAINTS ARE DISMISSED.
The Organization repealed Staff Regulation 3.1 bis. The complainants contend that this impaired their acquired rights and the stability of their conditions of pay in breach of Regulation 12.1. "In point of principle a rule calculated to achieve stability, like 3.1 bis, serves the lawful purpose of protecting against the erosion of pay by monetary trends, a factor extraneous to the contract of employment, and once the staff have been granted such a safeguard the rule-making authority may not arbitrarily do away with it. But [...] there was objective cause to repeal 3.1 bis in that it had entailed adjusting pay only when the dollar fell on the exchange market but not when it rose above any given point. There was potential - depending on currency fluctuation - for an undue increase in pay constituting a lasting charge to WIPO's budget which was no more warranted than it would have been for the Organization to make savings if the dollar fell. The conclusion is that because of the untoward effects the old rule might have [WIPO] was right to repeal it. Repeal was not in breach of the staff's acquired rights".
Organization rules reference: FORMER WIPO STAFF REGULATION 3.1 BIS; WIPO STAFF REGULATION 12.1
acquired right; international civil service principles; staff regulations and rules; amendment to the rules; salary; currency of payment; exchange rate; adjustment; cost-of-living weighting; unjust enrichment
The complainants, who belong to the professional and higher categories of staff, contend that the repeal of a provision in the Staff Regulations which insure the stability of their conditions of pay discriminated in favour of local staff. "According to consistent precedent the distinction between international and local staff is a fundamental one inherent in the very nature of an international organisation. It is due to the peculiar circumstances in which such organisations work and it is concurred in, with both its advantages and its drawbacks, by anyone who seeks employment with them, be it in one category of staff or in the other. Each category of staff offers career prospects and conditions of recruitment and pay that differ according to its own requirements, and a staff member may not plead breach of equal treatment if treated differently because he belongs to one category rather than to the other."
case law; equal treatment; international civil service principles; career; general service category; professional category; appointment; salary; local status; non-local status