University professors urged to refuse joining ‘summer semester program’
‘Teaching staff’s efforts underestimated by budget planners’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 17: Chairman of Kuwait University Faculty Association Dr. Ibrahim Al-Hamoud affirmed that calls have been made for university professors to reject the idea of enrolling in the special summer semester program, pointing out that the 50 percent reduction of budget for the exceptional semester is a circumvention of the general draft budget, noting the Council of Ministers had suggested reducing all budgets in the state agencies by 20 percent while the faculty members’ dues deduction is 50 percent, indicating the efforts of the teaching staff have been underestimated by the budget planners, whether in the government or the National Assembly, reports Al-Rai daily.
Al-Hamoud pointed out that a very large percentage of state employees work online but receiving full undiminished salaries, while faculty members teaching online are getting a reduction in their financial compensation and allocations in the budget under the pretext of working online. Therefore, the argument is unfit for inference and cannot be relied on in principle.
He added, “It is known that the idea of exceptional semester is the decision of Civil Service Commission and under implementation of the university law, and subject to the rules of Civil Service Commission, while it is linked to the decree and law on salaries and financial entitlements. For this reason, its reduction – according to budget law, is an unconstitutional act, considering that budget law is a formal law.”
According to the text of Article 143 of the Constitution, budget law cannot amend or affect any objective rule. Among the rules and substantive provisions are those related to salaries, bonuses, and allowances. For example, failure to establish financial approval for a specific job does not result in the cancellation of the job, given that the job and its salaries, bonuses and rewards have been stipulated therein.
Budget law and lack of financial support do not affect the rights of the employee, while his financial dues are a debt owed by the state. Failure to establish financial credit to a degree or position does not result in the abolition of its existence, otherwise it becomes a means to abolish public jobs protected by the constitution and the law.
He pointed out that failure to hold the exceptional semester at the university will result in delaying the graduation of four thousand students, meaning the university spends an amount of 800,000 dinars per month at a rate of 4.8 million dinars throughout the semester, which will be added to the students until they graduate. The sum is approximately or almost equal to the size of what was reduced from the budget.