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Saturday, July 19, 2008

USP Managers to take pay cut

The University of the South Pacific Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra and senior managers have taken pay cuts as part of measures endorsed by the university council to address a deficit budget.

Mr Chandra, who started work at USP on Tuesday, said salaries had been a major issue.
He said the salaries of the managers had been been reduced by 40 per cent while his salary is now 65 per cent over less than that paid to his predecessor.

Despite the reduction in salary, Mr Chandra said he believed "we have to receive modest remuneration when we are being funded by governments that are not doing that well". "I've always believed that I belong to USP. It's an institution where I've given nearly all of my working life and I believe passionately about USP," he said.

Mr Chandra said the council decided it would revert to the salary structure of 2004.
"So we believe now that the issue of those salaries is related to the period of the previous two to three years and is now dealt with and those salaries have been taken back to what they were in 2004," Mr Chandra said.

"Sometimes people could get the impression that the problems in USP were to do with those salaries. The problems at USP are much larger than the salaries of the former VC or the salaries of senior management because we are facing a budget deficit in the order of around $3million.
"There are larger issues at the university to do with the staff in general, the expenditure we have in salaries - we have the issue of large number of courses and programmes some of which are no longer viable."

Mr Chandra said the salary of the previous vice chancellor was agreed to by the council chairman at that time and the VC agreed to the salaries of the senior managers. "It's a difficult time to lead the university but it may also be an opportunity to show what we can do," he said, adding the USP was looking at cutting expenditure by not teaching courses that have small numbers.

He said the 2009 budget would not fund courses that are low in demand and could be low in demand for a number of years.

Source: Fijitimes

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