August 13, 2008

SABIS Threats and Intimidation (and Lies), Round 2

Posted in SABIS/Choueifat tagged , , , , , , , at 6:13 am by stephshimkooo

Please refer to Round One for background info:

After our encounter with the SABIS executive staff, we contacted a number of people within ADEC to ask them about what was going on. Based on the information SABIS had given us, there were a lot of things that made no sense, and we had many unanswered questions:

  • If our jobs were eliminated in October, why did we continue teaching a full load through the semester and through the first month of the next semester?
  • If our jobs were temporary, why had we signed contracts for a full year?
  • If our jobs had been eliminated in October, why hadn’t we been notified?
  • If this was a performance issue, why hadn’t we been notified?
  • If it was a performance issue, why was it up to the three of us to choose who would go?
  • Why had everything been done in such a manner?

The next morning, the other teachers and I went to the Ministry of Labour. (I will take a moment and commend R, whose head was NOT on the chopping block, but who stood together with the rest of us. She didn’t have to do that, but she did). We were directed to the appropriate person and began explaining our story.

The first thing she asked for was our labor cards. I showed her the card I assumed to be the labor card, but it was only my insurance card and had no bearing on matters of state. The woman looked at us disapprovingly and said that we should always have our labor cards with us and that it was illegal for SABIS to withhold them from us. That comes directly from the Ministry of Labour. She told us that they were not allowed to move us so far away, and that IF they needed us to change schools, they should have done so at the beginning of the year or in between semesters. She told us not to worry, not to be afraid, and that they would investigate.

Over the next few days, our wealth of information grew from our contacts in the Ministry and ADEC. We discovered that almost all teachers in the SABIS PPP were on “temporary approval” from ADEC because we did not meet the requirements of 3 years experience and teaching qualifications. We were supposed to stay on until SABIS could find more qualified people, and that they had until the end of the academic year to do this.

They had lied to us.  They had lied to us about everything.

None of us had any idea that our approval was only temporary. I was horrified since there were people who were making major plans and investments based on the assumption that their employment in the SABIS PPP would continue for several years, or at least for another year. Some people were enrolling in university, others buying cars, others making financial investments. It was not fair for these people to find out that they can’t come back to the lives they were trying to build. I asked an ADEC official what should be done, since I as a teacher was in no position to deliver that kind of information.

The week ended and we began our weekend. There was rumor that SABIS was going to offer us a financial incentive to go to Al Khazna. M had received such an offer on Friday. C had received a similar but smaller incentive on Saturday. I heard nothing.

On Sunday, we all showed up at the school again, and two members of the SABIS executive team were again visiting my school. As we came in, my AQC asked us if we had considered our offers. I said that I hadn’t received one, and she seemed surprised because apparently I was supposed to have received a phone call. She quoted me a financial incentive, the same as C’s. I turned it down since my reasons were due to my medical condition, not to pay. C also turned hers down. After some additional negotiations, M decided to go. After this short meeting, we went to attend to our duties.

In the middle of the day, C and I were summoned to the office to meet with the two SABIS executives.  And so we went for another round.


1 Comment »

  1. […] adec, choueifat, ppp, sabis, sabis ppp, sabis ppp uae, uae at 5:21 am by stephshimkooo Refer to Round Two for Background […]

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