The University of Guyana (UG) unions have once again, expressed their position on the reappointment of Professor Ivelaw Griffith as
Vice Chancellor, (VC ) of the University.
University Professor and Executive member of the UG‘s Senior Staff and Workers Union, Dr. Melissa Ifill, has said that the unions are adamant that reappointment of the Vice Chancellor will not be accepted unless he is subjected to an equivalent evaluation of his performance.
In a public social media post, Ifill noted that the Unions’ positions remain that the contract renewals, contract extensions, merit increments and reappointment of all faculties and staff are on the sole basis of annual performance evaluations.
“When the VC was appointed in 2016, the then Council stipulated that the VC must be subjected to performance evaluations in order to receive bonuses.
“None was done but bonuses were paid despite objections from the Unions. The Unions then wrote the UG Council and raised the question of the VC’s possible reappointment and the need for an evaluation in November 2018,” Ifill added.
The University Professor noted, however, it wasn’t until March 2019 that the Pro-chancellor, Major General (rt’d) Joseph Singh, addressed the matter in Council. He now claims that time to design and apply an evaluation instrument has expired.
The Council is expected, Thursday, to consider among oth
er things, the request of Prof. Griffith to be awarded another contract.
Ifill said that the Unions therefore suspect that the intention was/is to reappoint the VC without any evaluation.
“We are serving notice that if the Council decides to reappoint the VC without any evaluation at its meeting on Thursday, there will be multiple swift and strong responses by staff.
The Unions will not accept the reappointment of the VC until the special audit on spending at the University is completed and the findings made public.”
In the absence of a performance evaluation, Professor Ifill emphasized that the position of Vice-Chancellor MUST be advertised.
“The VC who has expressed interest could reapply if he so desires and be subjected to the same scrutiny as all other applicants.
Reappointment of all members of the VC’s cabinet must be based on evaluations.”
She added, “One Deputy Vice Chancellor has been there for almost six years and has never been subjected to an evaluation. We are certain that an evaluation of this DVC will result in dismissal and/or non renewal of contract as the overwhelming sentiment among staff who engages this DVC is that the individual covers gross inefficiency with arrogance.”
“Any attempt to impose said individual as VC (acting) will also been vigorously resisted. That experiment in ‘acting’ was already tried post Opadeyi and it failed.”
She said that staff will use all legal and industrial measures to ensure that merit, transparency, accountability and fairness are the guiding criteria for all appointments.
Earlier this month, the Unions expressed concerns over the failure of the administration to provide to the unions with contract information.
In a letter to the Council, the unions asked a series of questions for edification of its membership.
“How does Council enforce its decisions? We report Council’s decisions to our members and they have noted that it appears that Council makes decisions that are then ignored by the administration.
“There are apparently no consequences for such actions.”
Meanwhile, when contacted yesterday for comment on the concerns in relation to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor Singh said that he was not in position to speak on the issue.
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