Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Taleb Obaid - The Master Cheater and Defrauder of HCT!

So here it is, folks - the full unappetising news about the Taleb Obaid exam-cheating scandal!

It’s common knowledge that Taleb Obaid was ‘removed’ from his position as Head of HCT’s Human Resources and banished to RAK because of the malice and incompetence that he showed towards departing employees.

In many cases he actually broke the UAE’s federal laws by declaring employees as ‘absconding’ merely for refusing to accept his illegally calculated EOS settlement. In fact, he was almost entirely responsible for creating the situation that caused HCT to be dragged through the nation’s courts on account of the college’s shameless attempts to break federal laws and impose illegal EOS payments.

However, what is less well-known is that the man himself, as unscrupulous and corrupt as you can imagine, was also responsible for a massive cheating scandal at HCT that was successfully hushed up – until now!

SuedeO has received confirmer reports that 48 of HCT’s students were involved in a grade-changing scandal in which a high-ranking employee, later identified as Taleb Obaid, arranged to change several grades and remove certain courses from transcripts. In all, some 139 grade alterations were made, courses were removed from transcripts in 122 cases, and courses were added in 31 cases.

Initially it was reported that a since-dismissed lower grade employee had changed grades in exchange for ‘gifts’ offered directly by the students involved. None of these miscreants were apparently expelled, whereas some did have their diplomas temporarily revoked, and others were permitted to return to their studies.

However, further digital forensic inquiries revealed that the unprincipled shenanigans all came from the office of no less than the college’s Head of HR, Taleb Obaid! The slippery TO at first attempted to implicate others, but it was soon confirmed that he and he alone was indeed the author of the immoral transgressions. Nevertheless, it became impossible to make any charges of bribery, which is a federal crime, to stick; academic dishonesty, though, is merely unethical, and not a criminal offense.

So Taleb Obaid gets packed off to RAK, to masquerade as ‘Senior Manager of Campus Support’, rather than being marched off to prison.

Can you believe it? Only at HCT!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lawyers' Update

Suede is extremely proud and happy to present an update regarding the lawyers who are dealing with the cases of illegal dismissal of HCT staff and faculty. This was added as a comment to a posting several days ago, but I feel that it deserves a more prominent billing.

*******

An update from the lawyers. I stopped in this evening to discuss my case. I’ve been told a number of HCT employees (even some from ZU) have taken advantage of the free consultation and were able to return to HCT HR and get more money than they were previously offered. So, in short a Free Consult leads to More Money! That’s not bad at all, and these guys are happy to do it even if the consults don’t result in cases. All employees are advised to bring their contracts, though. So much for the claim that these lawyers just want to take advantage of HCT victims.

Another thing is that any employees who left under the following conditions IN THE PAST have a case that can be won:

1) Terminated without severance pay equal to their full monthly salary for three (staff) to six (faculty) months.
2) Employees who worked out their contracts and only got paid to their last work day in June. They should have received full salary through their contract date, which is why HCT is now changing contracts to start and finish in July.
3) Employees who resigned and gave the required notice period and were then charged a penalty because they did not resign at the end of a semester. 
4) Employees who declined to sign the new contract and were terminated.
5) Employees who were not offered a new contract and were not officially notified of their non renewal must be renewed or given severance.
6) Employees who were officially offered a job and had the offer withdrawn.

IF HCT TELLS YOU TO SIGN THE NEW CONTRACT OR RESIGN, OR THAT A REFUSAL IS EQUAL TO RESIGNATION, DONT RESIGN!

DON’T RESIGN! THEY HAVE TO TERMINATE YOU OR EXTEND YOUR CONTRACT AS IT IS. 

Another positive thing is that if an employee does not want to sign the new contract, they don’t have to, no matter what HR tells them. If they tell you to sign it or resign, don’t resign. If they terminate you, you must get the complete severance package. For example, a teacher who refuses to sign the new contract in June or May, or any other month, and is terminated, must receive the full six months of severance payments from the date they receive official notice of termination or non renewal of the contract. If an employee refuses to sign the new contract and HCT chooses to renew that person’s contract, it must be under the old contractual terms and not the new ones.

So, you may be asking yourselves just why HCT HR has a different story. Well, the answer is they don’t know about the law and don’t care. It’s not that they are right – they are ignorant, and wilfully so.

Keep that in mind when HR tells you anything; they could be completely wrong and not even know it.

Go get ‘em. Don’t lie down and take it up the …


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Student Uncovers Uncomfortable Truths about HCT (part two)

Part Two of the gradual awakening of an HCT student features a bit more of the same, plus a bit of something new - HCT snooping on its own students! We all know that HCT Goon Squad Central is very adept at keeping itself , ahem, 'aware' of what its employees are doing, but now it appears that the management is spying on the students too!

*******

Hey Suede,

It's me again! I forgot to include an important part of my previous message. It's a big scandal that has to be on your site!

The managers of the IT department, the library employees and some of the database workers have the right to access your logs, files you've saved in college, your username and password that's connected to your history and possibly photos chat history and calls. As an information technology, I paid no attention to having to insert my username and password. Then it hit me, how did the teacher know that some students cheated in the exam if she was just sitting on her chair in front of her computer all day? Does that mean they accessed our information WITHOUT any consideration for the rights we might have?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why did we have to use our username and password to connect instead of just joining the network or even only being given general usernames and passwords that aren't linked to our activity in and out of college?

Why did one of the lecturers take my friend's laptop out of the blue and keep it with him for a few hours?

If you put all of these questions into consideration, there's no way you can say that it is to protect the student's safety and monitor their usage, it's used to spy into and lurk around their personal lives. It was indeed very creepy to imagine that some of the workers would just sit by looking at our personal lives as we come and sign up everyday into their corrupt networks.

My friend tried setting up a manual proxy while connecting to the network. We set up our own virtual private network in addition to toolbars that auto- encrypts the http into https in urls. (S means secure browsing). For days and weeks, workers would try to find the anonymous source of our information (since we were using the vpn to connect to the network!) It only proved our point that the HTC is a group of pathetic managers that barely control their creepy old geezers and hags that lurk in people's personal information!!!!!!!

*******

Dear Suede, 

Here's additional information you might be interested in:

- the colleges of technology are facing severe decrease in the number of employees, which means that the class times for the teachers who stayed have increased from 15 hours of teaching to 30 hours per week (due to lecturers quitting their positions.) There is a lack in teachers that's estimated to around 200 lecturers around the country.

- the issue kept developing until the beginning of the first semester. Students are complaining from not being able to enroll into the majors they want to choose because there aren't enough lecturers to teach these students. 

- the directors of the HCT unanimously agreed that there is a severe shortage of faculty members in different fields. This is due to the bad decision-making skills by certain persons in the college adminstration , since some steps are taken without referring to other employees that are related to the issue that occurs, isolating them and not allowing them to participate in decision making. This caused many problems such as lack of lecturers.

- according to emirates news, around 199 Mil DHS have been used to buy equipment such as science and computer lab stuff, electronics, projection screens and so on, but the colleges still face a huge lack of both human and electronic resources!!! The termination of services for some staff without having their replacements made a delay in delivering some of the stuff and completion of procurement in various colleges in the country. 


- students at the HCT complain of several difficulties encountered during their studies such as being treated improperly by teaching staff, constantly being threatened with academic dismision for reasons that are not convincing. They're suffering from the school system and some of the students with financial problems are forced to buy a laptop and an ipad (for information technology and business students) and a laptop only for all other majors including English levels.

*******

OK, any comments on the above?

Friday, 1 September 2017

Student Uncovers HCT Truths (part one)

SuedeO is now TWICE as happy to present an insider's view of HCT - because it's in two parts! My thanks go out to the anonymous student (called Hamda - or is it Noura?) who has taken the daring step to present her  sincere opinion of HCT - one of the nation's most important institutions, apparently

Dear Suede,

I have read many posts in your online blog that further prove the truth about corruption in the Higher Colleges of Technology around the UAE. l am another local girl complaining from many aspects that are relevant to different areas such as management, breaching and invalidated contracts, the non-professional mannerisms of both local and expatriates, and many fields of corruption that weren't previously mentioned in this post.

It was hard to open a blocked site in my country and I feel awful for breaking the rules, but the truth must make its way to people.

First, this is the most important part of my paragraph. I am a local student and I am not writing this to lie. I am here to reveal the true, objective nature of this unethical place, and to help the government take a positive step onto improving the education in my country. Anyone who worked or studied in the Higher Colleges of Technology will not help but to agree with me, and if you're still defending manipulation and saying that I made things up, you're just delusional and need a whack on the head to wake up.

As a local, I will not step aside and watch education in my country crumble down. Students deserve a better teaching environment and teachers deserve more rights in valid contracts.

Here are some few things that I have noticed that the ministry of high education needs to take care of as soon as possible:

1- The HCT does not have valid work contracts. One must think. How could it be that such a big organization that follows the ministry of education breaches contracts, how is it possible that the rights of the employees are not properly illustrated in papers, working/ office hours, their salaries, and they're always overworked and barely have time for their personal lives or families. Everyone must confirm that there will be recent changes in contracts and they may be expelled or dismissed without a reason! This can dangerously distress students because the lecturers would be going through stress that they may intentionally or unintentionally take out on them affecting the learning environment and their grades. It was very common for me when I was a student to see that certain employees had no office (or an office that keeps moving from one building to another), lecturers that are booted out at the end of the term for no reason. Is this some kind of circus where some wicked employers (yes, I am talking about both locals and expats) play around with money and people's emotions?

2- Little to no professionalism! Now, do not get me wrong, I have met some professional lecturers who are able to pass on their knowledge to students, but the vast majority explain inefficiently while students pretend to pay attention! Educators are strained and even furious because of the dishonest supervision. To make matters even worse, students who have special needs (e.g.- students with mental disabilities are taught along with the students who are perfectly fine and given the same exams as them. How can any lecturer explain to students with disabilities and students who are good/ excellent in the same place? How is that fair to students who are mentally ill? Even if the instructor focused on these students and gave them kindness and devotion (bear in mind that most lecturers are not qualified to deal with some special needs), how can other (average) pupils learn if the professor only focuses on students who are not as capable as others? That would only waste class time. If the lecturer does the opposite and explains to everyone the same way, students with certain weaknesses would be left behind.

There should be at least one person (who has a degree in compensatory “special” education and schooling) that can explain to them while not interrupting the rest of the class (E.g. someone who communicates with people who cannot hear to get the material of the class across…etc. )

Students with severe walking and muscle tone/ bone issues are provided with wheelchairs, are allowed to be escorted by their servant which is something that I actually like, but then again that brings forth the issue of bullying that I’ll mention in the next point.

3- Bullying and the deficiency of adequate consoling services.
To prove my point, I’ll narrate an actual life event of a girl I knew well. She was sensitive and smart, she was also hard-working. She would do well in all her exams and projects, but one day she just troubled one of the lecturers involuntarily and she was expelled.

She was not exactly expelled for upsetting that person, but because she resorted to getting reassurance and counseling in college. She opened her mind and heart to one of the college counselors about what happened to her, the stress she would go through and all the bullying she was coping with from various lecturers and students, and not a few days after that, she was expelled for saying the truth about what happened to her. The counselor she trusted and treated as a friend reached to the administration and used her case to get a pay out of it. She exposed her to the managers and exaggerated it, flagging her as a threat to herself and others, although she was innocent. 

How miserable is it that someone reaches out to someone they consider as the only hope in their dying world, only to be torn apart by the very same person to climb their way to their personal greed and career success.

Before you say that she has done something horrible that’s worthy of being expelled, she did not, she merely was taken advantage of. I repeat that the girl was going through horrible abuse and stress at home in addition to tension and bullying in that jungle they metaphorically call a college, and she reaches out to the only person they found in their way imagining them as the only hope and light in darkness just to be shocked by them climbing their way on the expense of the sanity and emotions of her, a young girl that can easily be damaged.

I know some of you might be like, this is an individual case in one of the colleges but not all managers do that. WRONG. Many students have been booted out for nothing, just like many lecturers have been dismissed or expelled for nothing.

4- the old rules specifically said that students who used to get below 115 in the national CEPA won't be accepted, but my friend who got around 82 could enroll and it wasn't just an exception. My friend with a grade of around 101 could join the English levels. Which is against the rules that say that students should get at least 115.

5- the food in their cafeterias (at least in the city I'm from) is very horrible. The essence and scents are alright and so is the texture of the food, but many students have gotten ill from the same two places. I've gotten food poisoning there at least twice. If you can't fix your academics and the education there is broken beyond repair, at least ensure that your students can eat healthy food without having to fart and crap themselves like they swallowed an entire bottle of laxatives.

In all honesty, I think the government has a lot to work on in HCT, it's better for the government to completely shut down, replace or take serious action to alter the way things are there.

There are no rights for students, no right for employees and everyone is in such a mess.

I feel ashamed of being a local with this immoral place in my city. I don't like exploitation and I feel very helpless. Please save our education. Stop letting ignorance prevail.

Someone please make a move.

Feel free to add any additional statements and post this to your blog. I’ll be looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

To be continued

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Good News with Plenty of Appeal!

Regarding the previous communication from Agent X, I recently chased him for an update on a recent case he made Suede aware of.  The object of the case in question was a teacher ripped off by Pirate Zak and his cohort in crime, the infamous Taleb Obaid - the duo who broke UAE federal law by illegally declaring him absconding just for refusing their low-ball EOS settlement. Our intrepid hero answered my request to spill the beans, and this is the result. The news is … very good indeed!

Hi Suede,

Regarding my EOS case, I have won the following from the Federal Appeals Court: (1) six months severance compensation at full salary including benefits; (2) the same for all vacation days included in that time period; (3) an interest penalty of more than 10 percent of the amount awarded to me by the court, calculated on an annual basis for the time they delay paying me starting retroactively from the date the case was filed (to date that amounts to more than Dh54,000 and HCT has not gotten around to releasing the money to the court yet); (4) my end of service must be calculated according to my full salary with benefits and not the basic; (5) even though my last day of work was June 25, I must be paid my full salary and benefits through to my contract anniversary of August 31. The court has thus awarded me Dh450,000, not including interest penalties, whereas HCT wanted me to initially accept Dh177,000. 

Because my case was decided by the Appeals Court, a precedent for HCT employees has been set. This means that my lawyers only need to file any new cases and refer to that decision in order to get the same result.

Moreover, according to an earlier court decision, HCT will have to pay all of my legal fees and court costs because I won the case – this includes translation charges and the like.  For current and previous HCT employees, this means that even though they will have to pay legal fees and court costs initially, they will get it all back. 

Teachers terminated for not accepting the new contract terms must receive six months severance pay at full salary, in addition to end of service benefits. The same goes for those who were terminated before the end of their contracts.

It should be noted here that, since staff positions only need to give three months notice when they resign, what is said about teachers for six months must be halved for staff. 

HCT victims who have already been away from the college for two to three years can also file a case, even if they are outside the UAE. 

This is enough to chew on for now. Your readers should still contact you for the lawyer contact info, and Dr. Hassan is still the best initial contact.

Since there are HCT employees all around the country, many would have difficulty meeting the Abu Dhabi legal team, so they should form a group and try to arrange with the lawyers to meet with them closer to home. Perhaps it would be wise to offer the lawyers some money for the extra effort.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Illegal Breach of Contract

Recent intelligence reports from one of Suede’s inside contacts reveal some extremely unpalatable news about the new contracts that were imposed on continuing HCT inmates earlier this month. Please read the following if you were one of those who were severely humiliated several weeks ago.

Firstly, it has been confirmed that all continuing employees had to sign and approve the contractual changes or be summarily dismissed, i.e. terminated without cause. This move was taken by the HCT management to promote increasing loyalty and deference amongst the remaining inmates.

The second point is already common knowledge, namely that all existing education allowances have been reduced by half. As a result, many HCT staff with children will now only send them to school part time, or will merely be developing one side of the brain instead of both (as per HCT Emirati management).

Thirdly, a large number of employees were given summary termination notices, thus making June 30 their last day of work. The three-week notice period is designed to enable them to take a lengthy summer break, perhaps even extending into January 2018, as they find it impossible to find new jobs in such a short period of time.

Finally, there has been absolutely no evidence of consistency from employee to employee in the benefits provided by the new contracts. For some, it sucks big time: for a chosen few, it just sucks, period.

Now here’s the interesting bit regarding the above. The law is very clear on terminating contracts, and summary termination is illegal unless full severance pay is given. Teachers must therefore be given six months full salary from the date they were notified of termination, which was around June 1. Full salary for six months could be around DH180,000. Regular staff should get three months.

Agent Z continues in person here…

For me it would have been a DH 234,000 loss. That is a LOT of money to just walk away from. The option for these employees is to hire my lawyer. Because of my cases, my lawyer has a legal history to use to help win other cases. After they do that and give him a POA, they can leave the country if they wish. Plus, they can do it without cancelling their HCT visa and risk being declared an absconder. My lawyer can file a case against HCT with immigration so they would be blocked from filing an absconding case. By leaving their visa uncancelled, they will get HCT in big trouble with immigration, as they did in my case.

In short, leaving HCT without getting the due severance settlement would be extremely foolish. Please tell everyone that they can sue HCT and still leave the country, as long as they have given the lawyer a power of attorney before they go.


Just contact SuedeO here for the lawyer’s details.

suede.oasis@yahoo.com

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Start the Paper Chase!

SuedeO is once again privileged to be able to provide some extremely important information for HCT Faculty and staff who may be finishing their last semester. Once more I am indebted to Agent X in HCT central services for the following words of wisdom, which indicate that many of the higher management goons (such as the arch thief Taleb Obaid, pictured alongside) have been trying to follow as closely as possible the progress of current lawsuits against the HCT over end of service pay outs.

Just by way of reminder, these lawsuits are calling into question current HCT practices that are the result of policy, but are on shaky ground legally – are plainly illegal, in other words. Agent X has helpfully provided the following advice about documents that need to be collected by ALL departing employees in the period leading up to their exiting HCT.

Collect the following:

1) Any documents that can verify the starting date at HCT, and contract renewal letters/offers. 
2) Any documents that contradict each other regarding employment, such as copies of both contract renewal and termination within several months of each other.
(Employees who were both extended and terminated in previous years have grounds to sue for all the money they would have earned during the renewed contract)
3) Random pay stubs from the years of working for HCT, especially the final one.
4) Any documents from HCT containing any end of service settlement offer.
5) Any documents that express termination and/or give a last day of work. 
6) Copies of any emails to and responses from central service regarding any end of service enquiries.
7) A PDF copy of the HCT academic calendar for the last academic year of employment.
8) A document that shows you as faculty or staff.
9) Any emails from HCT or management regarding employee benefits and end of service, leave days, etc.
10) A copy of the 2013 decree from FAHR.gov.ae
11) Any other email that might be helpful in the future.

This list is not exhaustive as yet, and there may be more posted later in the comments section.

Incidentally, all new employees should find the obscurely located HCT policies and procedures on the portal and print it out or save it as PDF in its entirety, since legally HCT considers that as part of your contract, and it will be the only version that applies to your initial employment arrangement with HCT.

Furthermore, all HCT employees are encouraged to get the word out and make sure the above is common knowledge. If anyone feels they should be getting more, they can contact SuedeO for the contact information for one particular lawyer who is becoming highly versed in the applicable laws. Depending upon how long a person has been working for HCT, the difference between the law and HCT policy could well be hundreds of thousands of dirhams!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The cut-throat tactics of pirate Zak!

Suede Oasis is once again very privileged to be able to bring to the public's attention another welcome case of 'overexposure' for a much-despised HCT goon and criminal; this time it's the repulsive individual pictured alongside, Mr Zak Ali Khan. My thanks go out to Agent X for this particular information. 

Please find below news from the front line, which has been supported by many first hand accounts. This report concerns the animal known as Zak Ali Khan, the HCT HR official who does the best he can to reduce the end of service benefits of exiting HCT employees. This happy and self-satisfied pirate has been a central figure in an illegal and malicious absconding report against an HCT employee who only wanted what federal law said he should get in his End of Service payment.  The absconding report was overturned and declared malicious by the UAE appeals court. 

If this cunning pirate had been working for a private company he would have been jailed, fined and his company penalized. However, since this unprincipled privateer is protected under a government umbrella, as he is in a semi-government company, he remains completely unscathed. He not only has not been penalized by the court or HCT, but he continues to work in the same position. That makes him more of a privateer, a government-commissioned pirate.

This revolting shyster was also the driving force against applying the federal laws that dictated that employees needed to receive 1.5 months EOS compensation per year of service after five years of service and 2 months after 10 years.  Until ... he was ordered to begin implementing these stipulations by the federal government early in 2016. To those employees he robbed of their properly calculated EOS, this unethical pirate's response was: "Well, you signed your end of service agreement." 

What this happy pirate doesn't know is that there is an Abu Dhabi lawyer who can help ripped-off HCT employees recover the amounts they should have gotten. Contact this website to get more information.

As for the pirate, Send him your best wishes for his financial success and his Trump-like ability to cover his ass.

Zkhan@hct.ac.ae
https://www.facebook.com/zakir.a.khan.73?ref=br_rs
Central Services PO Box 25026, Abu Dhabi, UAE. 
Tel: +971 2 206 6666, Fax: +971 2 681 5833

Gift baskets and personal well-wishing visits can be delivered to the Central Services office near the student entrance of the Abu Dhabi HCT WC city campus.

Friday, 24 February 2017

HCT Contract Ripoff: - Join the Fightback!

Suede Oasis is extremely pleased to be able to report the following case of an HCT employee who has already successfully won one case against HCT and is currently waiting for the outcome of two others for compensation and end of service benefits. The teacher’s lawyers are confident that many of the things demanded will be awarded, especially a much better calculation for the relevant end of service benefits.

What this means for current and previous HCT employees is that, for those who were employed prior to 2013, the end of service benefit had to be calculated using the full salary and benefits up to 2013. This is apparently due to an addendum to federal law that applied to those in academia. After 2013, employees should have received 1.5 months of their salary per year of service after five years, and 2 months’ salary per year after 10 years.  

Anyone who whips out their calculator and figures out what they should have gotten, and compares it with their actual end of service benefit, will see that the difference is large.

So what can you do?

Well, the lawyers concerned already know very well how make a case for any exploited HCT teacher, even if you have signed your end of service agreement and are now living outside the UAE. However, you do need to file your case within a year of signing your end of service agreement. 

So, if you would like to take advantage of these lawyers’ expertise, please email me and I will pass on their contact details.

Finally, A few words direct from the employee concerned: "This particular HCT victim would like to thank Taleb Obaid and Zakir Khan of HCT Human Resources for creating the situation that brought all these legal details about the correct calculation of HCT end of service benefits to light, in fact to the benefit of all government and semi government academic institution employees. At the same time this victim regrets the embarrassment these two men have brought to the HCT, and the Federal Authority of Human Resources, whose responsibility it was to provide oversight that would have prevented all of this. This victim recommends that the government take a closer look at individuals working for HCT HR who feel inclined to create and implement policies that cause resentment from the employees. This series of events will very likely result in additional lawsuits from other HCT victims as the news gets out, so this victim recommends that all effort be made to settle such cases out of court.  The costs and the embarrassment would be less. Thanks to Taleb Obaid and Zakir Khan, the government will be paying a lot more now in end of service benefits."

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

What 'excitement' lurks behind the glass doors of HCT?

As most readers of these pages are aware, the gulf between the reality of working at HCT and the bullshit spouted by the HR department when recruiting is substantial. The advertised promise of working for an “exciting organization” soon morphs into a nightmare as the organization turns on its own staff and attempts to chew them up and spit them out.

Don’t believe me? Well, the most recent postings at glassdoor.com hardly leave a positive impression. I fact, the overall Rating Trend is a mighty…

1.9 !!


Even better, 18% of the posters would ‘Recommend to a Friend’, whereas the figure relating to those who ‘Approve of CEO’ stands at … ZERO!

Take a look at some of these headlines…

"The Place is a Sham"

"inexorable death"

"Legacy gone!"

"slash n burn"

"Great Institution spoilt by nepotism, cronyism and greed"

"Fire the VC"

"Just avoid it"

"Deteriorating"

And if those headlines don’t send out immediate warning signals, just take a look at some of the detail. After all, it is where the devil tends to reside.

In recent years the organization has deteriorated. Awful autocratic management by unqualified people who do not have experience in education and certainly have no idea how to motivate people. Continuous changes of policies. Culture of punishment and threats. Very frustrating. Co workers were excellent and salary was excellent but the environment was toxic.

Abusive and unprofessional administration, including unethical, immoral, and illegal activities.

To sum up how they operate, in 2012, I was given a 2.5 year extension to my contract one day and a 6 month termination letter the next day. My college director and HR officer knew nothing about it.

Things have got much worse since. HCT has lurched from being an excellent vocational training organisation to a very poor "university" and now it doesn't know what it is!

Cons: Unmotivated students can become shockingly malicious towards teachers having professional integrity and who steadfastly will not manipulate results or attendance records to halt the malicious behaviour.

There are ever changing and unclear rules and policies that make working life equate to climbing Mount Everest without the correct equipment. Some HR policies are cruel. The impact of these on the well being of the staff is noticeable.

Cons: Senior Management. Was always bad but with Emiratisation is now worse beyond belief.

Click below for more great news about HCT!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

'Tiny' Tim Smith gets a Taste of his own Treatment!


Tears of joy have recently been reported to have flooded the streets of Al Ain. The reason? HCT’s ‘Tiny’ Tim Smith, also known as ‘The Timinator’ (on account of his propensity for firing people), and ‘Napoleon’ (due to his diminutive stature and autocratic demeanour), has finally fallen on his sword!

The wonderful story here is that several faculty members complained to the Ministry of Education about Tiny’s bullying and grossly unfair conduct, and he was finally dismissed. Apparently, the said members went to the ministry with reams of evidence regarding his repeated abuses of power, including unjustified terminations, and they promised to investigate. Amazingly, they actually kept their word, and – hey presto! -  six months later Tiny Tim was history.

Tim was like the dragon in a Lord of the Rings nasty, but instead of breathing fire his roar was full of bullshit. Surrounded by ass lickers like Rob Miles as goblins – albeit a lot uglier - Tim eventually ended up more like Darth Vader with his light saber shoved up his own ass.

Tim, like all dictators, just had to fall. And what a spectacular fall it was in the end! So it’s back to the trailer he came from for The Timinator of Al Ain.

As for his despicable sidekick, Rob Miles, the clock is ticking for him also.

PS: read more about the terrible tyrant here: http://hctsucks.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/profile-of-timinator-of-al-ain.html

Do YOU have a Tiny Tim story to tell? If so, please unburden yourself below, and keep us entertained at the same time. Or just email us at suede.oasis@yahoo.com .

We look forward to hearing from you SOON!

Monday, 27 June 2016

"HCT is a disaster ... a very dark and sad institution"

Suede is very happy to present the latest correspondence from an extremely disgruntled former HCT employee. Any further comment from me would be superfluous, so just read and ... Enjoy!

Dear Suede 

Would you please post my story on your website. I had an awful experience, which fortunately ended in May 2016, at the Abu Dhabi HCT for Women.  

I was recruited to teach on the MBA program, only to arrive and find out that ... there was no MBA program! It had been suspended in 2015! So I had no role, no office, no desk, and no courses to teach. What I did face, though, was confusion and pure hate from other staff.    

From my perspective, HCT is a disaster, and a  very dark and sad institution.      


HCT is originally a vocational school – two years certification for the UAE high school system's weakest graduates who are not academic and have limited abilities.  Its administration, structure and educational learning model is based on some past Australian institutional example from the 1970s.  It seems that it worked well in the UAE for a period of time and produced graduates that the labor market accepted. However, after three decades, HCT grew to 17 different campuses all over the UAE and currently grants bachelor and master degrees among other certifications which totally different than what it is originally designed for. 
Due to these vast changes beyond its mandate, HCT is currently a seriously disfunctional institution for both vocational or higher educational colleges (BA, MA, .etc). Its graduates are very weak and the UAE labor market is generally avoiding hiring them. In the last two years, the central accreditation committee (CAC) of the Ministry of Higher education, who is in charge of evaluating all higher educational institutions in the UAE, hassuspended all the HCT master degrees’ programs and gave HCT a one-year final warning to fix all the major institutional problems that were pointed out by the committee for all the bachelor degrees’ programs, or it will be also suspended by the end of 2016/2017 academic year. 
Several serious violations have been reported and pointed out to be fixed by the CAC, such as the faculty's minimum qualifications should be Ph.D., not bachelor or master degrees, which is currently the majority among the current faculty.  Furthermore, the CAC demanded a complete review of all courses’ curriculum as they did not see any changes since 1980s.  Also, the CAC requested a reduction in the number of weekly teaching loads which is currently 20+ hours of contact teaching, and must be in the specific research and teaching specialization of the faculty member.  Currently, there are no specific specializations in each field of study, and there is no academic research by the faculty to speak about. 


Actually, HCT is known in the UAE as the lowest and weakest level of educational institution in the country. The students are the weakest high school graduates or rejects from other higher educational institutions, and the faculty are mostly under qualified and mainly at the end of their career - so they are desperate to have a job at any price and play alone. In short, everyone pretends: the faculty pretend to teach, the students pretend to learn, and some dubious curve is utilized to up students’ grades and pass almost everyone. That is exactly what happened in 2015 by the deliberate intervention of the upper management, and faculty are currently required and directed by the upper management to do so as part of their duties.  
The HCT is very sad place and I would not recommend it to any one with good qualifications, specially with a decent Ph.D.  There is no academic freedom or academic environment at all. You will be at a disadvantage and everyone without a doctorate will hate you and conspire against you to make you look bad and fail. I personally know of several Ph.D. qualified faculty who are actively searching for other employment opportunities in the UAE, or will just resign soon and go home.  In my opinion, you would be better off flipping burgers at MacDonald’s restaurants than teaching very lazy students, totally dependent on cheating and with low morale, and totally stupid management.  

Run away and stay away …. this is my advice to everyone applying to work at HCT.   

HCT SUCKS.    

Saturday, 11 June 2016

HCT USE NO EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS!

The message below was sent to me earlier this week, and reveals that HCT regularly and continually flout the UAE laws regarding the issuing of employment contracts. This news will, of course, be nothing novel to many current HCT staff, but will be a complete surprise to new recruits.

My thanks go out to the 'deep throat' at Central Services who has taken the brave decision to publish this information. I am releasing it below almost exactly as it was written.

Enjoy!

HCT USE NO EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS

It tends to surprise people when I tell them that the Higher Colleges of Technology do not use employment contracts. It is perhaps the largest government educational institution in the UAE and one of the oldest.  I was told by a longer term employee that they used to use employment contracts. However, I have worked for HCT for more than 7 years, and I have never seen an employment contract; and I have heard the same story from other employees.

For the last decade or so they have been using something titled an Employment Offer Letter, which is usually offered for signature several months before the new employment period begins. It is usually one or two pages long, has a few elements that might be in a regular contract, and then makes a reference to the HCT policies and practices on the HCT website as though they are an extension of the employment offer. I have been told by two other government bodies and a legal expert in the UAE that the HCT Employment Offer Letter is not equal to an employment contract underUAE law.

There is one problem with those HCT policies and practices, of course.  A prospective new employee has no idea what the HCT policies and practices say at all, since they are not included with the employment offer and he/she will never have access to it until starting work and getting set up with portal access by the IT department. Even then, finding them in the HCT portal is from difficult to impossible. Another problem is that there are frequent changes to the policies and practices reported by HR in global emails. This is fine, but since HCT considers them to be an extension of their employment agreements, the employee agreement in effect is not static but can change in any way at any time.

While this situation is probably not legal in other countries, it seems to be an acceptable practice in the UAE for the public sector.  Yet if an organization in the private sector does this and the labor department finds out about it, the result is court and penalties.  The only overt governmental body that HCT HR has as oversight is the spineless and compromising Federal Authority of Human Resources, which does very little or anything, even when problems are officially brought to their attention. The reputation this body has is that of an agency that lacks the power to give it any teeth, but from experience dealing with them I think they just don't have the will to bite.

My opinion is that the labor department should have authority over all UAE employers including the government and semi-independent entities such as HCT.