Judgment No. 4030
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to maintain her position at the same grade.
grade; complaint dismissed
Considerations 4, 5, 6
The basis for the conclusion of the HBA and the decision of the Director-General that the appeal was irreceivable was that Staff Rule 1230.8.1 provided that no staff member shall bring an appeal before a Board of Appeal “until all the existing administrative channels have been tried and the action complained of has become final”. That had not occurred in the present case because Staff Rule 230 provided that a staff member could request a re-examination of the classification of the post she or he occupied, and Annex 2.B of Section III.20 of the HR eGuide provided that where a classification decision was contested by the incumbent of the position concerned, a Classification Review Standing Committee was to be constituted and Annex 2.B set out the procedures, including time limits, for seeking a review.
The complainant did not contest before the HBA that she had not followed these procedures nor does she in these proceedings. The substance of her argument concerning non-compliance with the aforementioned procedures is that the processes and outcomes would not have been fair. But that does not provide a legal basis for not doing what Staff Rule 1230.8.1 required, namely that she should try all administrative channels before lodging an appeal with the HBA. Such a provision has an obvious purpose. Constituting an internal appeal body and the hearing of the appeal creates demands on the time of the members of the body and on the resources of the organisation more generally. That should be avoided if other and simpler procedures exist which may (but of course may not) resolve the staff member’s grievance.
The Director-General was entitled to take the approach she did in the impugned decision. In the result, the complaint is irreceivable because the complainant has not exhausted internal means of redress as required by Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Tribunal’s Statute. The complaint will be dismissed.
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 1, of the Statute
failure to exhaust internal remedies