University in pay row with Bahraini faculty
Manama, March 16, 2014
Eight Bahraini professors at a top university claim they have been suspended without pay after refusing to sign a contract to increase their workload.
The educators, all working within its business department, allege they are being forced to take on more hours for little extra pay, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
They claim they have been told to stay away from the private university until they sign the contract.
It comes after the university requested lecturers work 40 hours a week instead of their contracted 30 for an extra BD50 ($131.8) a month.
"In all honesty BD50 for 10 extra hours a week is not worth it to anyone," said one of the professors, who did not want to be named for fear of losing his job.
"We are all PhD holders - what doctor would work for BD1.250 an hour? It's ridiculous."
"Now we are being punished.
"Our contracts are valid for five years and we still have until 2017 before we have to renew."
The professors showed the GDN documentation to support their claims, including a copy of a complaint that was submitted to the Labour Ministry.
A spokesman for the group, who also declined to be named, said the salaries of the professors had not been paid since they refused to sign the contract.
"We have been suspended since March 2," he said. "We believe that this is a tactic to force us to resign, but it won't work."
Despite repeated attempts, university officials could not be reached for comment.
But a Labour Ministry official confirmed a complaint had been filed by the lecturers.
"The (university) administration was given two appointments," he said.
"They came to the first one to hear the complaint, but said they would have to consult their legal department - so they were given a second appointment to give an explanation and provide documentation but they never came.
"Before 2012 the ministry would have sent this to court but with the new law it is on those complaining to file a case at the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry."
At least two lecturers have reportedly taken legal action against the university claiming breach of contract and unpaid wages.
It is not the first time the university has been involved in a dispute with faculty members.
The GDN reported in September 2012 that the university was given 48 hours to pay around 50 of its lecturers who had their salaries frozen for seven days.
It was understood the action was taken against the lecturers for allegedly not abiding by a rule that they must hand in a research paper at the end of every year. - TradeArabia News Service