U.N. spendthrifts: Salary creep
Since U.S. taxpayers pick up 22 percent of the United Nations' regular budget, they deserve an explanation as to why salaries for its so-called “professional” staff far exceed the pay standard for equivalent U.S. civil servants, on which those lofty U.N. salaries supposedly are based.
In fact, those upper-echelon U.N. salaries have risen “sharply” in recent years while compensation for corresponding U.S. positions has been frozen, writes U.N. watchdog Brett D. Schaefer for The Heritage Foundation. And generous U.N. salaries make up about 70 percent of the world body's regular budget.
Based on the latest report from the U.N. International Civil Service Commission, the pay for most U.N. professionals in New York is $138,368 on average, net, Mr. Schaefer says. The U.S. equivalent is $104,904.
Overall, net compensation is up to 43.2 percent higher for some U.N. professional staffers than for comparable U.S. federal workers in Washington, Schaefer reports.
“(W)e simply cannot justify historically high and soaring U.N. compensation levels that are now significantly out of step with the average U.S. civil servants' salary,” says Joseph Torsella, U.S. representative to the U.N. on management and reform.
So, why do we keep paying this? Because lavish compensation is simply business as usual at the United Nations. That won't change unless the United States cuts off funding to the spendthrifts at Turtle Bay.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.