Now Under New Management!

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.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Re: Lower Colleges of Hypocrisy

The message below from an HCT student was first sent as a comment to my previous posting about the college's reluctance to respect its own written contracts. However, I have decided to offer it star billing of its own, as it proves that HCT is about as popular as camel shit with its own Emirati students - and not just Western staff and faculty!

*******

Greetings, Mr Oasis, 
I hope that you are doing well.

First of all, I would like to inform you that I have the exact same opinion as you do regarding the hypocrisy and nonprofessional assertiveness of the administration. 

I'm speaking of my experience as one of the direct entry students in a Women Higher Colleges of Technology student, and I'm not ashamed to say that the Higher Colleges of Technology is nothing but a sugar-coated pile of absolute garbage.

We all need to stand up to these pathetic and wretched individuals, which the warped HCT management system produces with such apparent regularity. If these bullies are allowed to continue their campaigns of vendetta and intimidation, they ultimately wreck people's minds and make their lives utterly miserable. 

I was forced by my parents to admit in this college, although I had very high grades in High School and was qualified for full paid scholarships in better colleges than this hell hole asylum. Little they did know how the HCT was a place full of corruption and malevolence. 

This vile sad excuse for a college has no respect for hard work, education or work. If you say one thing, you are out. None of the students or facility have rights. This place is toxic, and if it was not for respecting my parents desires, I would have never set foot upon this horrible, horrible place. In addition to that, guess what happened to me when I decided to fight for the rights I deserve? I got dispelled.

So I'm not ashamed to raise my middle finger out loud and say FUCK HCT, they shouldn't even be called "Higher" Colleges of Technology, more like Lower Colleges of Hypocrisy.

I rest my case. 
Again, Fuck HCT.

Wow, that is some 'recommendation' from a former student!

If there are any other current or former HCT students who would like to add their words, please do so below.

i look forward to hearing from you soon!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

HCT show contempt for their own contracts!

The text below was sent to me just after Christmas, so forgive me the delay in publishing it.  What is patently clear though is that an HCT contract is quite worthless, as they have no intention of honoring their (written) word.

*******

I was recently granted a contract from HCT Ras al Khaimah. It had taken four months to finally receive an offer and a signed contract. So I quit my teaching job in the US, sold my belongings and made my final preparations.

However, just five days before I was scheduled to travel, I got a phone call from HR informing me that my contract had been canceled without any reason. I wrote to the chair of the business school in RAK for an explanation, but she simply ignored my request for information.

In fact, when HR called me, it was a bizarre conversation. I asked them: 

Is there something wrong with the background check?  No
Is there something wrong with my credentials?  No
Did I say something wrong?   No

So, there was no explanation given, and no reason offered; in short, they showed no respect for the concept of a signed contract or agreement.  

I would strongly recommend that everyone avoid HCT like the plague, no matter how much money they offer you. Based on my experience, they can revoke your contract at any time, for any reason or for no reason.

Anyone with a PhD from a decent university beware.  If you trust HCT or their signed contracts, you may find yourself without a job or immediate employment prospects.  The HCT administration has no honor, no decency and no concept of the meaning of an employment contract.

*******

A terrible experience, I am sure you will agree, and a stern warning to all those who might be considering making the desperate step towards working for HCT.

In fact, what I have been informed by a mole in HR at HCT is that they are so desperate for bodies that they are actively over-recruiting, as they know that there will be many no-shows.

Well guys, there will probably be a few more non-arrivals now that this information is in the public domain!