Shafie orders revamp of Sabah varsity, says no to pay cuts

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal (right) receiving medical supplies from one of the donors in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal wants a revamp of the University College Sabah Foundation’s (UCSF) management in the wake of reports that it’s facing financial trouble.

Shafie said here today he had instructed the state secretary to follow up on the matter, including retaining the staff and ensuring full payment of salaries at the state-owned university.

“I have asked for this matter to be expedited,” he told reporters after receiving medical supply donations from various companies to the state government.

“I don’t want salaries to be cut or the jobs to be terminated. I want this resolved. I also want to revamp the administration’s management to ensure it is run well.”

In a memo dated June 15, UCSF vice-chancellor Mohamed Haleem Mohamed Razi had requested the 200 USCF staff to agree to a 50% pay cut due to financial problems faced by the college following a sharp drop in student intake due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Haleem said these were part of cost-cutting measures in light of a plunge in intake for the April semester.

In a second memo dated June 30, the UCSF is asking staff who do not agree with its cost-cutting measures to go on unpaid leave or tender their resignation.

In response to the pay cut, the Sabah Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said the staff never agreed to their gross salary being cut, contending it was deliberately decided by the management without prior consultation.

In a statement yesterday, Sabah MTUC secretary Catherine Jikunan said all the staff were only given the initial memo after the decision had been made.

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