Judgment No. 1821
1. The Tribunal sets aside the impugned decisions.
2. It orders the ESO to recalculate the adjustment of salary for staff as from 1 January 1996 in accordance with Article R IV 1.01 of the Staff Regulations and in the light of this judgment.
3. It awards the complainants 10,000 French francs in costs.
"The principles governing the limits on the discretion of international organisations to set adjustments in staff pay [...] may be concisely stated as follows: (a) An international organisation is free to choose a methodology, system or standard of reference for determining salary adjustments for its staff provided that it meets all other principles of international civil service law [...]. (b) The chosen methodology must ensure that the results are 'stable, foreseeable and clearly understood' [...]. (c) Where the methodology refers to an external standard but grants discretion to the governing body to depart from that standard, the organisation has a duty to state proper reasons for such departure [...]. (d) While the necessity of saving money may be one valid factor to be considered in adjusting salaries provided the method adopted is objective, stable and foreseeable [...], the mere desire to save money at the staff's expense is not by itself a valid reason for departing from an established standard of reference [...]." (See cited case law.)
complaint allowed; duty to substantiate decision; grounds; exception; case law; good faith; international civil service principles; organisation's duties; duty to inform; patere legem; rule of another organisation; coordinated organisations; salary; scale; adjustment; cost-of-living increase; budgetary reasons; discretion; limits; executive body; condition; criteria
"All comments and statements by member states were made within the context of the proper decision-making organs of the [organisation's] structure. To the extent that the complainants are attempting to show that member states tried to influence the decision through the committees or the governing body to which they belonged, it was perfectly proper for them to do so. An international organisation would not exist without its member states and the proper means for them to exert influence over an organisation they create is precisely that of debate, discussion and persuasion within the committees and governing body of the organisation itself."
complaint allowed; decision; independence; member state; discretion; executive body; legislative body