Frequently asked questions about salaries in the General Service and related categories

What functions are assigned to the General Service and related categories?

General Service posts (GS-1 to GS-7) include administrative and support functions as well as some specialized skills. At the New York headquarters, you find also posts that require specific skills under the ‘related categories’: Security; Language Teachers; Public Information Assistants; and the Trades and Crafts (a group of jobs such as drivers, electricians, building management and printing staff). In other duty stations these functions are within posts of the General Service category for the most part. National Officers (NO-A, NO-B, NO-C, NO-D levels) are recruited locally and serve only within their home country. NOs perform functions in the areas of development assistance and public information that require knowledge and experience at the national level.

How are the salaries in the General Service and related categories determined?

Salaries are determined by comparing the net salaries paid by the United Nations with the after-tax salaries of comparable staff employed by selected employers in the locality where duty stations are located. The salary scale in each area is set to be in the range of the best existing compensation being paid in that the labour market by organizations with similar structures and functions to the UN work.  To make the comparison with other similar employers in the area, local salary surveys are conducted in each duty station using a comprehensive methodology approved by ICSC. At headquarters duty stations, ICSC carries out the study. At non-headquarters duty stations, a committee of local staff from the duty station work with compensation professionals from OHRM or one of the common system organizations designated by the ICSC to conduct the surveys of employers comparable to the UN.

Are General Service and related categories salaries global or local?

The salaries are set according to local salary scales established in each country. There is normally only one local salary scale per country, with only a few cases where more than one salary scale is in effect in the same country, when prevailing conditions necessitate it.

What are the key components of salaries in the General Service and related categories?

The salary of staff in the General Service and related categories is made up of a base salary as per the relevant salary scale for the local area.

When are the General Service and related categories salary scales updated?

Salary survey specialists from ICSC and OHRM periodically conduct surveys of employers comparable to the UN and review the salary scales in each location in keeping with changes in the local labour markets.


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