November 25,  2003

SN-48 eng/03-04


JULY 2003

This document contains a summary of the activities of the 2003-2004 Staff Committee during July and a few items of interest to the staff.


Elections were held for the Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, pursuant to the Statutes of the Staff Association. The Chair noted that an Assistant Chair and an Assistant Treasurer would have to be appointed. The Staff Committee elected Miguel Angel Merino as Vice-Chair, Gladys Berly as Secretary, Ana María Lemos as Assistant Secretary, Nubia González as Treasurer, and Lucrecia Zea-Yonker as Assistant Treasurer.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board was then confirmed, also pursuant to the Statutes of the Staff Association. It consisted of: Martha Braga, Linda J. Poole, Anna Chisman, Juan Luis Colaiácovo, and René L. Gutiérrez.

Letters of congratulation

The Chair circulated letters congratulating the new committee, sent by the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary for Management, and the Director of the Office of the General Secretariat in Peru.

Election of staff representatives to joint committees:

a. Joint Committee on Insurance Matters [EB1] (July 2003 – June 2005)

Mabel Mestre – Principal

Pamela Mumuni – Principal

Gala Redington – Alternate

Daniel Perna – Alternate

b. Joint Advisory Committee on Reconsideration [EB2] (July 2003 – July 2004)

Linda J. Poole – Principal

Clara Estrada – First Alternate

Stephen Bender – Second Alternate

Pamela Mumuni – Ad Hoc Member

Jane Mohan – Ad Hoc Member

c. Performance Evaluation Review Committee[EB3]

Marcela Haugaard

d. Staff Incentive Awards Committee[EB4]

René L. Gutiérrez

e. Joint Committee on Selection of the Leo S. Rowe Award[EB5]

Francisco Coves (May 2002-April 2004)

James Kiernan (May 2003-April 2005)

f. Medical Benefits Trust Fund[EB6]

Juan Luis Colaiácovo – Principal Delegate

Silvia Gutiérrez – Alternate Delegate

g. Joint Advisory Committee on Employee Parking

Javier Arnaiz – Principal

Rafael Franzini-Batlle – Alternate

Raúl Plata – Alternate

Marleng Molina – Alternate

h. Joint Disciplinary Committee

Ana Marie Blackman – Principal

Magaly McLean – Alternate

Jean Craigwell – Alternate

Appointment of staff representatives to Staff Association support subcommittees

a. Children’s Christmas Party Subcommittee

Oneida Adames-Ripley - Coordinator

Diana Rittinger

Aida M. Rothe

b. Art Group

Gladys Berly

José Bustillos

Mabel Mestre

Lionel Nájera

c. Subcommittee on Sports

Fernando López

Roberto Kirchheim

Enrique Vidal 

d. Subcommittee on Funds for Natural Disasters[EB7]

Stephen Bender

Sandra Burns

Pablo González

Charlene Solózano

e. Subcommittee on Public Relations

Javier Arnaiz

Sandra Burns

Miguel A. Merino

Raúl Plata

Nubia Thornton

f. Subcommittee on Rules and Procedures

Rafael Franzini-Batlle

Manuel Metz

Arturo Garzón

Linda J. Poole

g. Subcommittee on Harassment in the Workplace[EB8]

Carlos Humud

Lina Sevillano

Cristina Cerna

Gala Redington

Gabriel Gross

Mabel Mestre

h. Budget Subcommittee

Gladys Berly

Nubia González

Miguel A. Merino

Lucrecia Zea-Yonker

i. Website Subcommittee

Gladys Berly

Juan Carlos García

j. Editorial Subcommittee

Alison Hector

James Kiernan

María Julia Meyer

Leonardo Rojas

k. Fairs and Bazaars Subcommittee

Ana María Lemos

Lucrecia Zea-Yonker

l. Subcommittee on Events

René L. Gutiérrez

Aida M. Rothe

Raúl Plata

m. Subcommittee on Gender Issues

Anna Chisman, Coordinator

Dalcy Cabrera

Patricia Downes

Ian Edwards

Carmen Lomellin

Manuel Metz

Preliminary report of the Subcommittee on Harassment in the Workplace

The principal representative on this Subcommittee, Carlos Humud, said that the Subcommittee’s mandate was to draw up a policy to eradicate any form of harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. To that end, the Subcommittee was studying all available information on the topic and would base its work on what had been done on workplace harassment in other international organizations. Once the norms had been drawn up, they would be presented to the Administration for consideration and subsequent implementation. He stressed the importance of engaging in dialogue with the Administration at the highest possible level in order to impress on it the seriousness and importance of the topic.

Contribution for the Leo S. Rowe birthday celebration

The Chair announced that he had received a request for a contribution to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Leo S. Rowe, on September 17. The contribution was in the amount of $150.00. The Chair recalled that it was precisely during Dr Rowe’s term, in 1928, that the Welfare Committee, which went on to become what was now the Staff Committee, was established. He therefore proposed that the 75th anniversary of the Staff Committee be celebrated on that date.

Request from the Art Group

The Art Group requested a contribution from the Staff Committee as it had the previous year. The Committee asked that any future request include not only the amount ($500.00) but also a statement of accounts. The same would be requested of all other subcommittees requesting contributions.

Formulation of expenditures for the fiscal year

The Chair referred to the budget report presented to the Special Assembly. In that report, the amount appearing under “Donations” was $13,000. He said that, while the figure seemed very high, it was because that heading also included the opening of a special account to assist contributing staff requiring a guarantor for the Leo S. Rowe Fund and that that fund currently had a balance of $10,020. He underscored that, in a new budget, a distinction would have to be made between those expenditures. He therefore proposed that a Subcommittee on Budget be established and appointed Nubia González as coordinator and Lucrecia Zea-Yonker, Miguel Angel Merino, and Gladys Berly as members.

Audit of Association funds

To assess the status of the Association’s funds, the Committee decided to ask a volunteer accountant to prepare a report indicating the Association’s income and expenditures.

Gift Shop

It was suggested that James Kiernan be consulted about how the Staff Committee’s Gift Shop might become a reality. The following staff members offered to serve on the Subcommittee: Nubia González, Juan Carlos García, Ana Maria Lemos, Miguel Angel Merino, Aida M. Rothe, and Lucrecia Zea-Yonker. In that connection, James Kiernan was asked to meet with the group. The meeting was initially scheduled for August 1 at 2:30 p.m. Raúl Plata proposed that a seed fund be available to launch the project.

AROAS observer

The Chair suggested establishing a link with the Association of Retirees, for example, to help it to publish its news on the Staff Association’s Web page. It was suggested that Domingo Acevedo, the AROAS President, be invited to one of the Staff Committee meetings as an observer. The Chair considered that it could be mutually beneficial to include AROAS in the Staff Association’s activities.

Medical Insurance Trust Fund Committee

The Chair noted that that Committee had been established in 1999 and that the current representatives were Juan Luis Colaiácovo and Silvia Gutiérrez. He then said that the Trust Fund had gone through a very difficult period, with losses, but that it seemed that the situation in the current year seemed more promising.

Terry Woods Emergency Fund

The Chair reported that the Fund had originated in a contribution the staff had made to Terry Woods’ widow. At that time, Mrs. Wood did not accept the contribution and said that she wanted the Fund to benefit the staff as a whole since her husband had always helped the staff. The Chair indicated that the current fund balance was $2,000 and that it was feared that it might disappear. He therefore suggested that rules of procedure for the Fund be drawn up, indicating how the funds were to be used and how to replenish it. The staff would thus be made aware of the Fund’s existence and purpose.

Continuing contracts

The Chair reported that the Department of Human Resource Services was to inform candidates who had passed the language exams. The interviews were expected to begin in September, thus completing the last requirement of the process.

Retirement and Pension Fund

The Chair announced that Eloy Mestre would give a talk before the end of the year on retirement and implications for the retirement fund.

Life insurance or loyalty benefit

The Chair put before the Committee the possibility of setting up a life insurance as a loyalty benefit for contributing members who were up to date in their contributions to the Association. He said that there were currently 368 contributing members. The benefit would be proportionate to the amount of contributions. Carlos Humud and Gladys Berly considered that it would be much effective if the life insurance were underwritten by an established company that specialized in life insurance. The Committee entrusted the Chair with contacting María Victoria Rodríguez to obtain proposals.

Work Plan and follow-up

The Committee identified four important issues for the Committee during this term: performance evaluations, continuing contracts, harassment in the workplace, and the management study. It was pointed out that the last item would have a great impact on the staff.

Regular Staff Assembly

The Regular Staff Assembly was held on July 23 to install the new Staff Committee, 2002-2003. On that occasion, reports were presented on the Regular Assembly in 2002 and the Staff Committee 2002-2003 (see Staff News 8/03-04). Likewise, a treasurer’s report was presented which showed a net balance of $6,555.35 at the conclusion of the 2002-2003 Committee’s term. The President thanked Nubia González and Corina Alvarez for the report. A report was also presented by the staff representative on the Retirement and Pension Committee, who indicated that, after three semesters without interest, the staff would be credited with 1.5 percent on balances as of December 31, 2002 (see Staff News 103 corr./02-03). The President thanked the representatives on the Retirement and Pension Committee, Oscar Harasic and Daniel Vilariño, for keeping the staff informed. The President of the Staff Association for 2003-2004 then delivered his address, which appears in Staff News 9/03-04. At the conclusion of business, a few staff members requested the floor to comment on matters raised by the President, e.g., continuing contracts, harassment in the workplace, and the evaluation system


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