KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has ordered a revamp of the University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) management following its move to cut staff salaries and reduce work hours following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shafie also ordered that the Yayasan Sabah-owned higher learning institution to stop any pay cuts for its staff.
“I’ve directed that there should be no pay cuts and retrenchment, ” he said Wednesday (July 1) after receiving donations from four companies to help frontliners battling Covid-19.
Shafie was asked about the move by the management of the state-owned university college to impose an austerity drive that has been heavily criticised.
“I’ve told the state secretary (Datuk Seri Safar Untong) to look into the matter. We will meet soon, (and) undertake a management revamp, ” he said without elaborating on the issue.
Last week, UCSF vice-chancellor Dr Mohamed Haleem Mohamed Razi said that the temporary austerity measure would involve 50% pay cuts for four months (from June to September) and total work hours would be reduced to three days-a-week.
He said the austerity drive was not a retrenchment but a scheme to maintain the organisation and retain its staff as the foundation was going through a challenging period due to a low 18% intake recorded in April 2020.
The university had also suspended some programmes including the university’s international programmes.
On Tuesday (June 30), Sabah MTUC secretary Catherine Jikunan said that UCSF staff did not agree to a 50% cut from their gross salary and claimed that they were only given a memo on the issue.
Earlier in thanking donors, Shafie said that Sabah will allow all foreign workers from China to return to the state and they must be Covid-19 free.
They should undergo a Covid-19 test at their point of origin three-days before arriving in Sabah either by air, road or sea.
He said that their entry would be based on the standard operating procedure (SOP) by the state Health Department and also in accordance with the regulations of the Sabah Immigration Department.
Shafie also said that state authorities were monitoring 236 government and reopened mission schools to ensure that SOPs are followed to check the spread of Covid-19.
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