Friday, September 30, 2011

UN salaries have "risen dramatically"

The Obama administration told the United Nations that too few of its 10,307 workers are being cut and average salaries, currently $119,000 a year, have risen “dramatically.”

The U.S. ambassador for UN management and reform, Joseph M. Torsella, said today that the proposed $5.2 billion UN budget for the next two years would scrap only 44 jobs, a 0.4 percent reduction. After an “onslaught” of add-ons, the 2012-13 budget would rise more than 2 percent to $5.5 billion, he said.

“That is not a break from ‘business as usual’ but a continuation of it,” Torsella said in a speech in New York to the UN’s administrative and budgetary committee. “How does management intend to bring these numbers and costs back in line?”

The Obama administration, he said, “calls for a comprehensive, department-by-department, line-by-line review of this budget” and a new process to approve UN funding.

“It is our obligation to our taxpayers to do more with less in Washington and here at the UN,” he said.

Torsella’s attack on UN salaries and workforce size follows legislation introduced by U.S. House Republicans on Aug. 30 that, if passed into law, would have the U.S. withhold a percentage of its contributions until at least 80 percent of the UN budget is voluntary.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-29/u-s-decries-excessive-salaries-in-new-un-budget.html