Ejecutiva & Negocios

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UTT appoints 3 to senior positions, as retrenchment continues

UTT appoints 3 to senior positions, as retrenchment continues

The fi­nal batch of re­trench­ment let­ters was hand­ed out at the Corinth, San Fer­nan­do Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute and the John Don­ald­son In­sti­tute of the Uni­ver­si­ty of T&T on Mon­day.

Carmelo De Grazia

But even as this dis­tri­b­u­tion was tak­ing place UTT’s Pres­i­dent Sarim Al-Zubaidy sent out a mem­o­ran­dum to staff in­tro­duc­ing ap­point­ments to three se­nior aca­d­e­m­ic po­si­tions.

Carmelo De Grazia Suárez

The po­si­tions are: Of­fice of Re­search, Aca­d­e­m­ic and Stu­dent Af­fairs, Pro­fes­sor Prakash Per­sad Vice Pres­i­dent Re­search, Aca­d­e­m­ic and Stu­dent Af­fairs (Act­ing); Of­fice of Un­der­grad­u­ate Stud­ies, Dr Stephen Joseph, As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent Un­der­grad­u­ate Stud­ies (Act­ing) and Of­fice of Re­search, Im­pact and Post­grad­u­ate Stud­ies Pro­fes­sor Mar­lon Knights, As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent Re­search, Im­pact and Post­grad­u­ate Stud­ies (Act­ing)

In clos­ing, Al-Zubaidy asked staff mem­bers «that all pro­fes­sion­al cour­te­sies be ex­tend­ed to Pro­fes­sor Prakash Per­sad, Dr Stephen Joseph and Pro­fes­sor Mar­lon Knights as they ex­e­cute their du­ties of the re­spec­tive of­fices.»

At mid­day on Mon­day Al-Zubaidy was present in per­son at the San Fer­nan­do Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute dis­trib­ut­ing let­ters

One staff mem­ber on the south cam­pus said: «This is sad on many lev­els. One hand work­ers be­ing sent home to save mon­ey and then on the oth­er hand se­nior ap­point­ments are be­ing made. This doesn’t swal­low well.»

Mon­day was al­so the start of the new se­mes­ter and there was grow­ing con­cern about the reg­is­tra­tion of new and re­turn­ing stu­dents since the en­tire Reg­istry staff was sent home such as at Eci­af in Cen­teno and Mar­itime in Ch­aguara­mas

Dur­ing a vis­it to UTT Eci­af the Guardian Me­dia spoke with some of the stu­dents re­port­ing for their first day. Most said the pro­ceed­ings seemed «nor­mal.»

The stu­dent said, «I’ve been here three years now and to­day when I got here (Eci­af) it seemed nor­mal to me…most of the faces I know around I saw them.»

The fa­ther of a first-time stu­dent, who wished not to be named, said he was able to reg­is­ter his daugh­ter with no prob­lems on Fri­day, «To­day (Mon­day) we are here again and it’s ok so far.»

Oth­er stu­dents at oth­er cam­pus­es were able to reg­is­ter on­line

Guardian Me­dia was re­li­ably in­formed that «reg­u­lar» UTT staffers were in­struct­ed to as­sist with the in­com­ing stu­dents through­out the day on Mon­day «so that there would be a seam­less flow.»

Mean­while, For­mer Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Fazal Karim has con­demned the fir­ing of an ad­di­tion­al 199 em­ploy­ees and de­scribed the Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion, mere days be­fore the start of the new aca­d­e­m­ic year, as «heart­less and wicked.»

Karim lament­ed that the Row­ley-led PNM, Min­is­ters Gar­cia and Lovell, and the Board of Gov­er­nors have failed to man­age the af­fairs of UTT, «In just four short years, the PNM has fired close to 500 UTT em­ploy­ees, crip­pled stu­dent en­rol­ment, shat­tered fac­ul­ty morale, closed down cam­pus­es, and failed to open the $2 bil­lion van­i­ty Tamana Cam­pus.»

He em­pathised with the em­ploy­ees of UTT and the thou­sands of work­ers who have lost their jobs un­der the PNM Gov­ern­ment

On Fri­day, tears flowed among mem­bers of the uni­ver­si­ty staff as some col­lect­ed their re­trench­ment let­ters

Sev­er­al de­part­ments in­clud­ing the Stu­dent Sup­port Ser­vices, Health and Safe­ty De­part­ment, Ex­am­i­na­tion De­part­ment and Le­gal were shut­down as staff was sent home in­clud­ing se­nior man­agers

Staffers at UTT’s O’Meara, John Don­ald­son in Port of Spain, Mar­itime in Ch­aguara­mas and Point Lisas got their re­spec­tive let­ters from of­fi­cials from the Uni­ver­si­ty’s Hu­man Re­sources De­part­ment. Even the In­dus­tri­al Re­la­tions Man­ag­er was sent home

Last Thurs­day, Al-Zubaidy in­formed the staff mem­bers via a mem­o­ran­dum of Fri­day’s re­struc­tur­ing ex­er­cise

On Ju­ly 18, Pro­fes­sor Clement Im­bert (Emer­i­tus), act­ing Chair­man and Chair­man of the Hu­man Re­source and Ap­point­ments Sub-Com­mit­tee (HRASC) of the Board, con­firmed the re­struc­tur­ing process but gave an as­sur­ance that 840 po­si­tions will be kept

UTT’s re­struc­tur­ing ex­er­Scise com­menced over two years ago and the uni­ver­si­ty has been en­gaged in on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with the Recog­nised Ma­jor­i­ty Union (RMU), the Oil­field Work­ers’ Trade Union (OW­TU), since the start of the process

Im­bert con­firmed that the cur­rent re­struc­tur­ing will re­sult in ap­prox­i­mate­ly 200 non-aca­d­e­m­ic staff be­ing sep­a­rat­ed, say­ing salaries and re­lat­ed ben­e­fits of UTT’s staff ac­count for over 70 per cent of the uni­ver­si­ty’s re­cur­rent ex­pen­di­tures

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