….freezes Vice chancellor’s salary and other perks
THE University Council – the governing body of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) – has reportedly frozen the salary and perks paid to the controversial Vice Chancellor, Ganesh Chand, until such time he returns to Solomon Islands, it was revealed yesterday.
“The decision was taken last Friday,” the sources said.
It is not clear whether Dr Chand has been informed of the decision, which could also lead to his termination as more dirty linen are aired about SINU’s sorry affairs.
Solomon Star has begun a series of articles on a special investigation it is undertaking to establish the cause(s) of the dilemma SINU is in.
The sources said the action to freeze the Vice Chancellor’s salary and other perks was a result of a series of articles published by Solomon Star on the continuing SINU saga, which has seriously affected both students and staff alike since last November when Dr. Chand and three other Fiji nationals were expelled for working illegally in Solomon Islands.
According to the sources, Dr. Chand and three staff members he had personally recruited from Fiji continued to receive their fortnightly salaries even after they were deported.
They continued to do so until last Friday when the decision to freeze their payments was taken by the University Council, the sources said.
In a blatant stone-walling attempt, SINU issued a statement on Friday September 3, claiming Dr. Chand was still the Vice Chancellor of SINU. It also claimed that he and two other staff members were never deported.
“They took early annual leave pending their work permits issues being sorted out,” the statement said.
But a letter from the Commissioner of Labour showed there were nine applicants. Of this number, five applicants have had their work permit applications rejected, according to the letter dated 30th October 2020.
Then Vice Chancellor Ganesh Chand was one of the five.
His salary package is very attractive.
Documents obtained by Solomon Star show Dr. Chand was on a basic salary of $697, 000 a year. The salary is subject to pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) Tax.
The appointment also entitled Dr. Chand to a gratuity of 10 per cent of his basic gross salary or $69, 700. As well, the job attracts a 50 per cent performance bonus of basic salary, calculated against pre-agreed indicators given in Schedule 4 of the contract.
There was also a monthly housing allowance of $20, 000, along with an entertainment allowance of $24, 000 a year. Transport and fuel allowance added another $13, 000 to the package, the documents show.
The job also has annual leave of 30 working days and 22 days in sick leave a year.
By ALFRED SASAKO
Editor’s note: Solomon Star will continue to expose more of the SINU Saga in our Wednesday issue.