At UN, DGACM Gettu Tells Staff, I'm Warning You, I Want Respect
By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, March 9 -- As the UN talks about workers' rights and collegiality, inside the Glass House things can be quite different. On July 31, 2014, Inner City Press reported how the head of the UN Department of General Assembly and Conference Management Tegegnework Gettu calling female critics "emotional," here.
Now on March 9, multiple sources tell Inner City Press that Gettu told complaining staff "I am warning you," cutting them off while saying We are all equal, including me." Really? Leaked audio exclusively put online by Inner City Press here.
What will Secretary General Ban Ki-moon do? Under his management, the UN Staff Union in New York has been broken. But is this rant appropriate? Previously, Gettu said, if we all fart together, it doesn't smell. Really?
Back on July 31 Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced he is shifting Catherine Pollard from the Office of Human Resources Management over to become Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), replacing Franz Baumann of Germany.
As Inner City Press previously reported, Pollard had declared herself the poster child of Ban's “mobility” policy, to only hold the same post -- or was it duty station? -- for five years.
No matter that, for example, Robert Serry has said on television he's been in his post six years. Pollard has made a lateral move, and Baumann's next move is not yet clear.
What does DGACM do? As a sample, Inner City Press has already exclusively received a number of complaints about a meeting held by DGACM chief Tegegnework Gettu, also on July 31. According to sources, Gettu used the meeting to tell staff how well he is doing, how objective he is, that he has no personal agenda. (Click here for previously Inner City Press report.)
But when he opened the floor, the first staff member who dared make a suggestion -- that verbatim is now nearly identical to translation -- was cut off and told that his was only a personal opinion.
A female staffer who made a criticism was told by Gettu to not be “emotional.” Eventually Gettu was telling the assembled staff that the UN “is good” and “if you don't like it, walk away.”
In fact, it was in DGACM that the staff member elected vice president of the Staff Union in December was terminated -- Gettu says he didn't re-apply for a job so he clearly didn't need one -- and it was in DGACM that staff members were subjected to bed bugs, among other things, in the Albano Building.
On July 31, the sources exclusively tell Inner City Press that Gettu told DGACM staff that they may remain in the Albano Building on 46th Street until 2017 when, he says, the UN may have a “DC5” building, proposed to be built on the Robert Moses playground south of 42nd Street. Click here for Inner City Press story.
There are many hardworking staff in DGACM, and even some in management may mean well.
But the type of self-serving speechifying at staff described to Inner City Press by sources on July 31 is indicative of the same UN which, for example among the press, evicted the News Agency of Nigeria from its work area claiming a lack of space while giving a large room to its favored UN Censorship Alliance (UNCA) -- which now says it will leave the room empty and locked from August 1 to August 19. We and the new Free UN Coalition for Access will have more on this. We'll have more on this.
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