Education Ministry to Slash Jobs and BlackBerry Services

DUBAI - The Ministry of Education is to cancel contracts of 20 expatriate consultants and will withdraw nearly all BlackBerry devices issued to senior ministry staff as part of steps to rein in expenditures.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Mon 6 Jul 2009, 1:07 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:55 PM

The services to 45 of 50 BlackBerry phones have been stopped, according to a letter the ministry sent to telecommunication provider Etisalat’s VIP subscribers section and obtained by Khaleej Times.

The phones must be returned except for those five phones meant for senior officials, for which services will continue.

The letter No 1956 titled ‘Urgent and important’, asks for the services to be blocked until further notice by blocking the cellphones’ SIM cards. The ministry said it would only pay for costs in the interim period before the services were suspended.

Director of the Financial Resources Department at the ministry, Ahmed Al Atas, said they planned to abolish all contracts signed with experts, consultants and others holding administrative designations. Al Atas said these contracted employees were conducting administrative tasks but for a scale equal to that of university staff, benefiting from high salaries and open-ended advantages.

He clarified that the group of experts and advisors who were appointed on such a payscale were not experienced and efficient enough to warrant double the salary a UAE national makes. He did not give specifics of their salaries or the number of employees in the category.

Other department officials, who requested annonymity, said the monthly pay of the 20 expatriate employees in the category ranged between Dhs 20,000 and Dh 80,000, apart from housing and furniture allowances and education allowance for their children.

The ministry is in the process of notifying the 20 employees of the terminations.

The staff are being given an option to be reappointed on a year’s contract to be renewed annually for a salary to be decided by the minister or director general.

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