A Petition to H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations on behalf of our colleague, Ahmad El-Komy (ID # 347810)

A Petition to H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations on behalf of our colleague,

Ahmad El-Komy (ID # 347810)

 

H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations, 

           We, the undersigned employees of the United Nations, are pleading for your kind intervention to reverse a decision that, we believe, constitutes an injustice that should not take place in the United Nations. 

           On 28 February 2013, our colleague, Ahmad El-Komy, received a notice of separation from service. Ahmad had passed the 2007 competitive examination for Arabic Translators and embarked on a probationary appointment starting from 25 June 2009. He received two satisfactory performance reports for cycles ending on 31 March 2010 and 30 November 2010. Pursuant to a decision by the Secretary-General in February 2012, his performance was retroactively evaluated in an additional, new ePAS covering the three-month period ending on 28 February 2011. The evaluation was initiated and completed, then it was rebutted by Ahmad. On 19 June 2012, the Rebuttal Panel raised his overall rating to “Successfully meets performance expectations”.  

           On 24 June 2012, Ahmad completed three years of probation and had a total of twenty months of documented satisfactory performance, which would render him eligible for permanent appointment. Instead, his probation was extended for an additional, fourth year. His appointment has been subject to renewal on a month-to-month basis since June 2012.  

           In April 2011, Ahmad was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. He had to undergo major surgery and several cycles of chemotherapy, while grappling with an unsettling situation in the office. From a humane standpoint, one would expect from an “exemplary employer” such as the United Nations that a staff member facing an impairing disease be granted a certain period of grace, whereby the scrutiny of “probationary performance evaluation” is relaxed for the period of illness. This would be the decent treatment in a hypothetical situation where the staff member does not have Ahmad’s proven record of satisfactory performance.  

           To be faced with severe illness, the fear of termination, the severe psychological cost of uncertainty regarding tenure and residency status, and separation from family who had to depart the United States due to the prolonged spell of month-to-month renewals of probation, all at once, is extremely difficult for any person to fathom, much less to weather and, at the same time, continue to achieve an optimal performance in a highly demanding job.  

           Treating a staff member in such a fashion subjects the entire workforce to the highly demoralizing fear of being treated similarly. 

           We hope, Mr. Secretary-General, that you will take our plea into your kind consideration and issue instructions to rescind the termination decision along with granting Ahmad the long overdue permanent appointment as of 25 June, 2011. 

           Sincerely,          

           Staff Members of the United Nations

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    Ezzeldin Enan, United States

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