Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Federal universities criticized over salaries

The Nation:
Meagre pay rise angers academics
Daniel Bardsley

Last Updated: August 18. 2008 11:53PM UAE / August 18. 2008 7:53PM GMT A

cademics at Zayed University have dismissed a five per cent pay increase for non-Emirati staff as “a slap in the face”.

Faculty members say the increase, revealed in an e-mail to staff from the central administration office, means that pay is failing to keep pace with rising costs in the UAE, where the inflation rate last year was 11.1 per cent.

Emiratis, however, are to receive an increase of 28 per cent of basic salary, or a minimum of Dh2,000 per month.

Zayed University (ZU), which was founded in 1998 and has campuses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sweihan, recently became the first federal institution to gain accreditation from the US Middle States Commission on Higher Accreditation.

A female ZU academic, who asked not to be named, said the pay increases for non-Emirati staff were “ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous”.

“It’s absolutely a slap in the face. These increases are after the university has been accredited. This is not good. The credit should go to the faculty,” she said.

“I think they will not be able to recruit good faculty. Faculty will leave, there’s no doubt about it. Morale has been very low.”
The American University of Sharjah was the first institution in the UAE to receive an American accreditation (by Middle States as it happens) and is in the process of its first Middle States reaccreditation review. Several months ago AUS announced an increase in the salary pool of 15 percent effective September.

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