Friday, January 03, 2014

Compensation of locally employed staff at US consulates

This is from 2009 (CNN, via BRF).

This is about a report from the US Department of State Office of the Inspector General, "Review of Locally Employed Staff Compensation Issues".   I hope that Clinton, as Secy. of State, resolved the issues identified in the report.  Other documents on the site do not address that. However, other documents on the site about specific embassies say that the ongoing freeze on US federal employees' compensation has kept the US from addressing pay issues for Locally Employed Staff (for instance, Buenos Aires in February 2013).

Quoting directly from the first report linked above (from 2009):

Aside from inflation, 38 percent of the management officers and 64 percent of the LE {locally employed} staff representatives responded that the local compensation plan  {LCP} was not suf­ficient to meet basic living expenses for lower grade employees. Some of the com­ments for these responses only noted that the LCP did not provide various allowanc­es, or that the allowances were far short of reality. However, 27 missions presented compelling arguments that their lower grade employees fall short of minimal living standards. These arguments included accounts of LE staff:
• removing children from school
• cutting back to one meal a day
• sending children to sell water or little cakes or toiletries on the streets
• foregoing prescription medication because they cannot afford the co-pay
• resigning to move back to their hometown because they cannot afford to live in the post city
• sending their families back to their home country because they cannot afford to live in the host country
• the cost of rice for an average family equating to half the monthly wagesof over 60 percent of the staff
• employees depending on salary advances and defaulting on loans in order to cover basic expenses
• grades 1 to 3 earning less than $1.00 per day
• employees paying at least $250 a month for a single room apartment with a salary of $250 to $400 a month
• up to 50 percent of salary being spent on groceries, and 40 percent on utilities
• salaries falling short of official poverty levels