Staff Representation

MSF values social dialogue between its employees, their management and its overall leadership and views open exchanges on their work conditions and remuneration as a positive contribution to the organisation’s social mission.

Médecins Sans Frontières is a Movement made of a network of associations, offices and missions around the world (see: Who We Are). Each of these entities recruit and contract their own staff and provide them with a salary and a set of benefits. 

This means that dialogue and discussions between employer and employees on pay, benefits and work conditions mostly happen at the level of these entities, because they are the legal employers and are subject to local laws on contracts, remuneration and social benefits.  Because each MSF entity is the legal employer for their own staff, there is no MSF staff representation mechanism at a global level.

A large majority of MSF entities, including missions, have elected staff representatives. They usually play a role in discussing changes in HR policies and work conditions with management, relaying information from management to staff and vice-versa, and supporting individual staff members facing difficulties in their work. Depending on the context, local laws or customs, they can sometimes be members of workers’ unions.

MSF offices and long-established missions are more likely to have staff representatives. Emergency missions or projects often don’t always exist for long enough to put in place a proper staff representation system. However, a number of mechanisms are in place in all MSF entities to allow individual staff to be informed about their rights and raise problems or complaints should the case arise, and in all confidentiality if need be. 

If you are an MSF staff and want to know more about staff representation in your entity, contact your HR department who will be able to give you the names and contact details of your representatives.