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Salary not paid for 13 months – Living on handouts

KUWAIT CITY, April 28: Days after a video clip showing an Egyptian school security guard – Mohammad Kamal Ja’afar – complaining that he did not receive his salary for more than five months went viral, another guard assigned at a kindergarten in Farwaniya made a similar complaint, disclosing that he has not been paid his salary for 13 months now, reports Al-Rai daily. The guards are waiting for confirmation from their companies and the Education Ministry regarding the payment of their salaries in order to give their families a decent life, especially in light of the current health crisis which has affected all sectors with very few emerging unscathed from its economic consequences. According to the kindergarten guard, he and his colleagues are enduring difficult conditions that no one could bear. He is making ends meet with the help of those residing near the kindergarten, the kindergarten director and some teachers.

Mohammad Kamal Ja’afar

Meanwhile, a reliable source from the company that hired the guard disclosed the company’s contract with the ministry was terminated on July 31 last year. He affirmed all the guards are aware of the contract termination and that the unpaid salaries are for four months only – April, May, June and July. He said the ministry officially informed the guards about the contract termination, but they decided to stay in the kindergarten as they are surviving through the help of some teachers. He affirmed their problem will be solved soon, indicating the Financial Department withheld the budget allocated for the salaries of guards for the above-mentioned months. He said the money will be transferred soon to the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) to start the disbursement process.

He added: “We cannot disburse the amount directly, because their contracts are with a private company which has been experiencing management problems since the beginning of the corona virus crisis. We will transfer the amount to the authority minus the fines, if any; and then the authority will pay their salaries.” Asked why the guards are staying in the school despite the termination of the contract, the source revealed the company is facing legal problems and it has no shelter for the guards; so the ministry decided on humanitarian grounds to give the guards the choice to stay in the housing allocated for them inside the schools or to leave. Their salaries will be paid next week at the latest, he affirmed. The source pointed out that some MPs have intervened, indicating a lawmaker met Minister of Education Dr Ali Al-Mudhaf who approved the salaries of 170 security guards.

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