Mind the comparisons at Petrojam

Monday, June 18, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I write with reference to the Jamaica Observer article of June 14, 2018 headlined '$12-m HR manager'.

The article quoted statements attributed to the general manger which indicated, inter alia, that the previous HR manager was supported by an industrial relations consultant who was paid approximately $5.2 million for the year. It quoted the general manager as saying, “The current HR manager is not complemented with an IR consultant because of her skill set and the experience she is bringing to Petrojam... so we would be paying more for the previous HR (manager) and the support.”

Please note the following:

1 The IR consultant referenced was engaged on a two-year contract commencing October 16, 2015.

2 During the two-year term of the contract, a total of $5.4 million was paid. Though a significant percentage was paid in 2016, saying the IR consultant “was paid approximately $5.2 million for the year”, implying that this was an annual figure, is a bit misleading.

3 The IR consultant has a bachelor's degree from The University of the West Indies along with five certificates in conciliation and industrial relations, including one from the International Labour Organisation and one from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, DC. He held several senior IR positions, including director of IR in the Ministry of the Public Service (1990-1995) and retired in early 2015 as the chief technical director of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

4 The previous HR manager has a bachelor's degree from the University of Technology, Jamaica and a master's from Columbia University (NY) and, prior to joining the staff at Petrojam, she served in senior HR management positions in the agriculture, bauxite, and telecommunications industries, in which she covered all areas of the HR function, including IR.

5 The real comparison, therefore, would be $12 million per year ($9.5 million for HR manager, $2.2 million for consultant) for the two individuals with the combined qualifications and experience detailed above, versus $12 million per year for the current HR manager, whose qualifications and experience will be provided within the next two weeks.

Like the other stakeholders, I look forward to juxtaposing the qualifications and experience of the current HR manager with the qualifications and experience detailed above, at which point we will be able to objectively access the veracity of the general manager's claim.

Howard P Mollison

Former general manager

(Feb 2015 to July 2016)



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