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Troubles in CNAQ Paradise?
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:48 pm    Post subject: Troubles in CNAQ Paradise? Reply with quote

EFL is generally overstaffed in that the class sizes are generally less than 10 and most average much less than that. This semester, as in the past, some are not assigned any teaching load at all because of the ratio of teachers to students.

On the other hand, content teachers are assigned 15 - 25 students per class and they are very short staffed.

There are also noisy noises about the doing away with at least 2 departments as well as reducing the EFL/Academics side of the college in that making class sizes larger and not hiring new instructors. Hence the dearth of advertising for EFL and Academic instructors in this go round.

There is also the rumor that there may be audits done by the state in various departments where money is being spent with abandon - purchases of supplies, books, services, etc.

As with elsewhere in the GCC there is always the suspicion of backhanders being given for using a particular supplier. Who knows here - the state has never asked for proper oversight on spending in these areas (i.e. independent external auditors) - at least no one seems to be aware of it being done. Too bad.

CNAQ does provide a valuable service to the state. An accountable and responsible management team (and those in place in Qatar now are not necessarily to be blamed for their faults in either category - it all goes back to Canada and the lack of leadership there) to the state would be a giant step forward to rescuing this ship.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, there is no news about extending this current extension yet. So any new contracts offered would be for 2 years (still not bad, but maybe not attractive to those with families).

Suggestions making the rounds for cost cutting given the request from the State - do away with duplicate services/depts. We're the premier technical college in Qatar, couldn't a lot of this be done with video conferences rather than expensive travel and hotel stays? For the people involved, it would also be a more efficient use of their time as well.

Serious need to carry out financial audits on all areas in the college. The effectiveness of parking "enforcement" is one example. Every day there are still security guards trying to enforce the rules despite the fact the college has spent a great deal of money on an automatic RFID parking system that was supposed to address illegal parking. This is an ongoing expense as every semester there will be new people arriving, cars being sold etc. One has to ask, is this really a good use of $$?

There are some consultants at work in the college in various capacities. Is it really necessary to bring in a permanent consultant? Some have been here for several years.

However there may be some good news in terms of scheduling for both teachers and more importantly students. If EFL classes are made larger that frees up rooms and resources to be allocated more efficiently. It would get even brighter if the two departments rumored to be on the block are actually chopped. Some students have 7 - 9 hours of classes/day because it is impossible to give them the courses they need to graduate any other way because of the allocation of classes/labs to groups of 10 or less students.

Is this still the best gig in the gulf for Canadians? You bet your sweet bippy. Morale is still an issue for some. The President has said that 95% of people are happy/satisfied with their job here and that the other 5% will have to decide whether to go or buck up.

However, if you have a family you would be bringing with you, you would have to seriously consider the situation with the lack of a contract with the State at this time. Unfortunately, mismanagement and misallocation, lack of 3rd party fiscal oversight, and perceived misuse of resources have contributed to the drastic cut in the budget this year (and yes, other state supported institutions are also affected - the state has realized that maybe there is overspending and has cut the funding in order to rein in the some of spendthrifts and send a message to others).

CNA NL still hasn't started the hiring process for September (another rumor is that the HR personnel in NL have refused to work anymore overtime, which will probably slow down the hiring process even more - not that they were ever efficient in the past). The other issue with hiring as it was last year is Ramadan is starting in early July, which slows down the processing of paperwork due to reduced operating hours in Qatar.

Again, is it a decent place to work? Yes.
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Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does CNAQ hire non-Canadians?
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MyTrunkshow



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 230
Location: One map inch from Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canadian passport holders only. No way around this.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MyTrunkshow wrote:
Canadian passport holders only. No way around this.


This is only true for EFL instructors. They do hire non-Canadians as technical-subject instructors, as I know a Brit who was offered a job with them not so long ago.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, Canadian passport holders are hired over other nationalities. Except when they can't get qualified Canadians especially in Engineering.
There is an American in charge of College security (not the training program, actual security for the college).

As for EFL, with the current budget cuts, the latest rumour is that anyone without a related Masters degree will not be staying. In another department, which is already short instructors, the story is another group of current instructors who supposedly don't meet NLs min quals will be downsized this year.

As the college has experienced real problems recruiting for the past 3 - 5 years in content areas, this makes no sense - especially for the students. It makes even less sense when one considers the contract extension with the state is only until 2016 with no indication that the other 7 years of a new contract will materialize, at least not with CNA NL.

HR in NL hasn't even started advertising yet for September 2014. And, many here who are seriously looking for other work have stated that if they get another job, they will only advise the college with the minimum notice required (3 months).

Which means the college may have bigger recruitment problems come June 1st.
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Chinaski



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellygreen wrote:

As the college has experienced real problems recruiting for the past 3 - 5 years in content areas, this makes no sense - especially for the students. It makes even less sense when one considers the contract extension with the state is only until 2016 with no indication that the other 7 years of a new contract will materialize, at least not with CNA NL.


Hi Kelly, I remember reading before on another thread that the pay is quite good there...can you please elaborate why the uni would not be able to recruit qualified staff?

Also, if a Canadian who has lived abroad for 10+ years and is a non-resident in Canada for tax purposes...would the uni withhold Canadian taxes still?

This question alone put me off applying in the past. If a Canuck has to Cdn pay taxes (even on the wage that I saw bandied about before)...then I wouldn't call it a great wage anymore. Razz
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The college (this is not a university by any stretch of the imagination) will withhold Canadian taxes if you do not have a current non-resident status letter from CRA - usually issued within the past year if not the past few months. If you do not have one when you join, the taxes will be withheld but then returned to you (after a laborious process of trying to get payroll in NL to do so).

EFL generally does not have a problem attracting qualified people. The other schools tend to because of (a) the requirements of CNA NL that you MUST have a relevant undergrad - for example, in the School of Business it doesn't matter if you have an MBA and years of relevant industry experience IF someone with the right paperwork comes along, and (b) all applicants that make it through the interview process have their names forwarded to the executive liaison and they decide if it goes on for the visa process.

As the college has never been very efficient in the hiring process anyways, this can mean names are rejected as late as May/June and few people are interested in turning their lives upside down in a handful of weeks for a September start if they do get an offer after that point.

The college hasn't even started posting the vacant positions yet - nearly every other GCC tertiary institution does this in Jan/Feb hiring in March/April

The continuing issue for the past 3 or 4 years is the uncertainty of continuity of the contract with the state. More rumors are doing the rounds that in order to be more cost efficient, the state may cut the college connection in NL loose sooner rather than later. We only have 2 years on this extension.

If that happens, what happens to the salary scale? It probably won't be what it is today unless the state goes with another Canadian college connection (which has been an ongoing rumor for years).
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ThirstyInTheDesert



Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in EFL at CNAQ, and it does seem that the numbers are down this year from years past. Class sizes tend to be small in EFL in general (12 or less being common) as a field due to the nature of our work. There were A LOT of CNAQers at TESOL Arabia this past year for the job fair. No news on particulars for next year yet but the rumours are there will be significant cutbacks. If it is EFL then so be it, I've enjoyed my students and will miss the best salary I will likely ever have as an EFL teacher. The EFL department isn't particularly well run anyways, we have capable teachers but the EFL programs are a mess.
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oilers



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe it might help if the dean actually had his grad degree and it was related to the program he runs (or is the website outdated, has stated he's working on it for a few years now)

what kind of place has a dean with only an undergrad anyways? (MA in progress notwithstanding)
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Chinaski



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellygreen wrote:
The college (this is not a university by any stretch of the imagination) will withhold Canadian taxes if you do not have a current non-resident status letter from CRA - usually issued within the past year if not the past few months. If you do not have one when you join, the taxes will be withheld but then returned to you (after a laborious process of trying to get payroll in NL to do so).


Hi kelly, apologies for the delay. Nothing that a VPN couldn't solve... Wink

Regarding the quoted above,...it doesn't sound fun at all.

The Canadian government has a little game that they like to play. They get people to solicit their "opinion" on whether they are non-resident for tax purposes (all documented, income and all), and then usually tell them that they are...NOT a non-resident for tax purposes.

Then, sometime down the road, if the people return to Canada (whether they ever had that intention or not)...the government collects ALL back taxes.

When the person protests and says, "You told me that I was a non-resident for tax purposes..." the government replies..."We told you that, in OUR OPINION, you were a non-resident for tax purposes, and NOW, ...IN OUR OPINION...you were a resident for tax purposes..."



Rolling Eyes
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uaeguy



Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chinaski....I know of many, many CNA-Qer non-residents who have since returned to Canada and never got "dinged" by Revenue Canada. In fact, I don't know of any who did.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRA requires you to complete a 4 page document to determine your residency for tax purposes. If the decision is in your favour you get a letter stating they consider you non-resident for tax purposes.

They don't solicit an opinion - at least not in my experience. And like the previous poster I only know of 1 person who got dinged and that was because they lied on the 4 page application.

Either 6 or 7 people were told their positions were being eliminated this week at the University of Calgary Doha Campus.

The Director of the Qatar Project for CNA has been sighted on campus. As per any previous senior management visits from NL - he is avoiding any interactions with most faculty.

The budget was submitted the 31st, senior management have met this week. We figure the news of any faculty or program cuts will be made either Thursday or Friday afternoon at about 1500 hrs when people are already out the door for the weekend either here or in Canada. At least that's been their communication strategy in the past.
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Chinaski



Joined: 06 Apr 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

uaeguy wrote:
Chinaski....I know of many, many CNA-Qer non-residents who have since returned to Canada and never got "dinged" by Revenue Canada. In fact, I don't know of any who did.


Thanks for the firsthand info.

My last contact with anyone this happened to was in Korea quite a few years ago, so maybe it is not as common as I thought.


kellygreen wrote:
Quote:
CRA requires you to complete a 4 page document to determine your residency for tax purposes. If the decision is in your favour you get a letter stating they consider you non-resident for tax purposes.

They don't solicit an opinion - at least not in my experience. And like the previous poster I only know of 1 person who got dinged and that was because they lied on the 4 page application.


Hi kelly, CRA doesn't solicit an opinion...they offer an opinion. Later they can change that opinion.

One of the requirement for being considered a non-resident for tax purposes is leaving Canada with no intention of ever returning...

This is how some people get hung up. The government later determines, probably through the applicants conduct, that they did in fact have the intention to return all along.

Maybe the government is correct in many cases. Razz

When I left Canada the intention really was to never return to live there. To reinforce this point, and on the advice of a pretty good tax advisor, I have never filed anything or asked for any opinion since.

The logic in that is...why bother if you have already left and never intend to return.

[Real Matrix stuff there. Razz ]

And with regards to the rest of your post... Shocked

The place looks a wee bit unsteady at the moment...

Thanks so much for the updates.

Chinaski
ps. For any Canuck who might soon be in the job market, Algonguin College-Kuwait is doing a round of interviews now... Embarassed
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my paperwork from CRA looks a little different from what you have, but you are correct about the opinion thing - however, it also specifically states that the opinion is based on the information provided being correct/honest.

Weekly roundup at CNAQ

University of Calgary people given their notice (7 people, 4 who were leaving anyways and paid out to the end of this Academic Year)

CNAQ budget presented to JOB.

PA to CNAQ president books the big auditorium then withdraws the booking. Everyone is aware of this and is watching the booking page - they are now also watching what facilities personnel are doing and when as they will be doing the set up for any general meeting being called.

Speculation ensues that the people in Qatar are awaiting an announcement from CNA NL before telling people who is going and when.

Speculation also ensues on the date for these cuts - the most popular one is that it will be done on April 17 after 1200 hrs so that they can lock down the grades to prevent any mischief.

Meanwhile, the employee relations officer continues to send out announcements on how employees can avail of the employee assistance program - this is the 3rd iteration and it is sent to all faculty and staff.
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