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Tue 18 Sep 2007 04:00 AM

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Public sector pay protests

The proposed pay hike for Dubai's public sector health workers may prove to be a pay cut, claim government staff, as the restructuring of allowances see net wages fall.

The proposed pay hike for Dubai's public sector health workers may prove to be a pay cut, claim government staff, as the restructuring of allowances see net wages fall.

Under a revised payment scheme introduced in August, public sector dental professionals have been stripped of individual allowances, such as cost of living benefits, but compensated with a reported 20% pay boost.

Now, contract talks have stalled in the face of a flurry of protests from aggrieved health workers, who claim that, while administrators' wages have peaked, theirs have slipped.

Jamal Fareed Nagi, director of human resources at Dubai's Department of Health and Medical Services (DoHMS) admitted the department had received 250 complaints but insisted the pay increase still stands.

"Believe me, things are better than before. If they got AED10,000 before, now they get AED12,000."

Employees may not understand their entitlements under the new scheme, Nagi suggests, and so wrongly believe that their salary has dropped.

"Staff don't know what allowances they get or not... and some of this is not clear yet, but time will solve this."

Nagi has urged employees who feel they have legitimate pay complaints to contact the department for advice on their full entitlements.

"The director has announced that he is willing to listen to people and we are assessing the comments from here," he said. "The most important thing is that people come to us with the full story. But what is happening now is that the majority is coming back saying ‘why aren't I being paid so and so.'

"People will complain, so let's hear their complaint."

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