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UniFiji Has No Retirement Age Policy, Says VC Professor Chang

The University of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang says the university does not have a retirement policy. But she confirmed yesterday that discussions had happened in the past on
28 Feb 2020 14:57
UniFiji Has No Retirement Age Policy, Says VC Professor Chang
From left: University of Fiji Department of Accounting and Finance Professor Ruvendra Nadan, Associater Professor Dr Wahab Ali and Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The University of Fiji Vice Chancellor Professor Sushila Chang says the university does not have a retirement policy.

But she confirmed yesterday that discussions had happened in the past on the issue.

Professor Chang said five professors whose photographs featured in a Fiji Sun article yesterday had their contracts recently renewed.

“Two of them had their contracts renewed in the past two months for three years and they are above 65. We have eight professors in the university, two of them are below the age of 65, six are above the age of 65,” she said.

Ms Chang said the suggestion for a retirement policy was highlighted during a staff consultation last year.

“Im really surprised with this kerfuffle about the staff retirement policy because we don’t have a policy as such. Staff policies are about staff and we heard they were not being consulted so we had a staff policy consultation meeting on November 28 at Saweni,” she said.

“At the University of Fiji the HR policies are reviewed, we don’t just implement them like that. All the 28 policies are just drafts. We are still looking at them.”

Staff concerns

She said staff raised concerns about contract renewal and succession plans.

“Once we get all the policies it goes through an internal meeting. The Deans meet, the senior management team will look at it, the schools will review everything and it goes through a staff policy review committee, only if they agree, it goes to the senate, if all is fine then it goes to the council.

“I will not accept anyone creating anxiety among our staff and students. My colleagues have a career ahead. My students have a career ahead. I will protect my staff and my students, that’s very important to me,” she said.

Associate Professor Dr Wahab Ali said staff needed to follow the proper channel with their grievances.

“It’s a backlash on us and students so I hope good sense will prevail and those unhappy about it will come into an internal forum and sort things out here rather than go to the media and discredit the university,” he said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

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