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Jart



Joined: 09 Jul 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dustyanddry wrote:
Doubtful. Perhaps increases at Qatar government schools (QU and the K-12 sector) but unlikely at foreign colleges and universities (like Georgetown, VCU, Texas A&M, etc.) that are often tied to pay scales in their home countries


I agree. Just another rumor.
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

That is funny - because the Qataris think CNAQ employees are overpaid as it is - they once mentioned all the expensive vacations the employees took
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:41 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

Actually -- on the subject of CNAQ - take a look at their website - leaders section - out of date. I see they are only offering two year contracts now - they must see the end coming.......
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're working on the website Lukey - it's just that it has fallen through the cracks with the passage of people and time.

We've been back a full week and to date there has been no communication from the President's office - granted, not really important in the big scheme of things, but nice to get a "hello" at least. Hopefully he's made an appearance with the newbies. But hopefully he's working on all the contract issues employees have brought forward since he arrived.

Other than that, registration was hectic as word had come down it had to be complete within a certain time frame which meant long lines etc. No biggie perhaps, unless you were the students left standing outside the gym in 45C+ conditions (and no water inside) as there was no room for them inside all at once.

Hiccups at worst but a general aura of lack of consideration and respect - little things mean a awful lot - especially in this part of the world and especially to these students.

Still no contract and at least perceived contradictions on what is happening with it - one email in the spring said that the state had agreed to enter into negotiations, then at a later faculty meeting, that the contract is done and dusted, just needs signatures, meeting last week where CNAQ president has been advised to get the contract signed by November - which is interesting as the contract would have to be signed by the state and CNA NFLD (Qatar Project Office/President) - or wouldn't it? Remember, the contract has been with the state since August 2010
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:11 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

Seems like nothing has changed since I left a few years ago - still a bit of a muddled mess. What do you expect in Qatar anyways. I remember the first employee survey exposed a shocking state of affairs - has anything changed? (present employees - any comments?) The President while I was there basically worked on confusing, complicated spreadsheets (salaries etc) and sudoku - the present President must be an improvement! The atmosphere must be different with the old Vice-President Academics gone (she is gone isn't she? - the website still shows here as VP). She set the tone for the College - not always good.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current president advised a few months ago that no "new" employee survey will be done as the college is trying to "address the issues" that came to light in the last survey (now 3+ years old I understand).

The VP of Academics is back at the motherhouse - a collective sigh of relief was heard as she left the country. She was not very popular. We are hoping that her replacement (still no one in place and no word if there is even one in sight) has higher level people skills and work experience and Middle East educational awareness.

There were high hopes for the new president when he first arrived. Time will tell if he can do better than the previous one.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

President did send out a welcome message, and then a message further explaining his original welcome back message. One does start to look askance at leaders when they begin to question or second guess themselves.

Another notice is that the president of CNA (in NFLD) will visit late October/early November. A welcome change from the stealth visits of the Director of the Qatar Project and the HR Manager for the Qatar Project over the last 18 months. One wonders if their visits will be announced college wide or only after their departure(s) as has happened in the past year.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So let me get this straight, CNAQ is a Canadian university in New Foundland that has a satellite campus in Quatar, much like Texas A&M, New York University, etc. have campuses there and in China, etc.

So does this mean that the working conditions are similar to those in western culture?

How are the salaries, work hours per-week and vacation time? Is housing modern and maintained or is it still quite poor (reading from earlier posts)?
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It's Scary!



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shimokitazawa wrote:
So let me get this straight, CNAQ is a Canadian university in New Foundland that has a satellite campus in Quatar, much like Texas A&M, New York University, etc. have campuses there and in China, etc.

So does this mean that the working conditions are similar to those in western culture?

How are the salaries, work hours per-week and vacation time? Is housing modern and maintained or is it still quite poor (reading from earlier posts)?


Just so you know, there is nothing "New" about "Foundland"...at least ever since it was "found" and, in Arabic "Qs" are not followed by "Us".

It's about all I know about CNAQ except that you're SOL if you're not Canadian!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15612
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is Qatar, no 'u' to be seen.

If you want to know about the ups and downs - pros and cons of CNAQ and its history in Qatar, I suggest that you use the search mechanism here. Enough reading to keep you busy for a few hours. Laughing

Based on the news of the last couple years, it might or might not be around much longer as their contract with the Qatar government has not been re-upped. Currently it survives on rumor.

From a source within who was there last year and prefers not to post here, many (most?) do not consider it to be much like back home. Do not count on any verbal promises... if you don't get things in writing, you're out of luck. Housing for singles still sucked and HR wasn't helpful - as usual things depend on when you arrive and who you might know. Their declared work week was 35 hours, but many had late classes which meant being there much more than that. Official vacation is 30 days, which is about half of the average for Gulf tertiary employers. (most give 2 months in the summer on top of the usual Eids, semester breaks, etc)

It is far from the worst place to teach in the Gulf, but realistic expectations are required. If you are Canadian, it could be worth the gamble that they stay around.

VS
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The contract with the State has yet to be signed although it has been written and delivered to the relevant government body since August 2010. There have been contradictory statements issued by various levels both in Newfoundland and Qatar offices about its status and probability of it being signed soon. Current contract ends July 2013 and the college does not issue employment contracts beyond that date (for obvious reasons).

Qatar HR as a group is still is at rock bottom and continues to try and dig deeper. Nfld HR runs a close second. HR policies are advised on an ad hoc basis and are applied similarly 99% of the time.

To be fair to Qatar, contracts are supposedly with CNA Nfld - however, try getting any answers or clarifications out of either Nfld or Qatar - don't hold your breath if they don't like the question. Confused

Housing has improved in that maintenance issues are generally followed up promptly and competently. There are issues with the quality/standard of construction (which is an issue anywhere in the region) - security remains an issue at some venues. Be aware you will live, work, and if you take the bus, travel with your colleagues - some of whom you will want to push under the bus after a while. - Only natural in such close quarters. Razz

For EFL instructors, it is the best gig going. Because they restrict faculty to Canadian passport holders the requirement Very Happy for a related Master's degree + post grad experience is often waived - however, other colleges/unis in the region do the same if they can't find qualified and experienced people - but most don't restrict their possible employee pool to a designated nationality. Salary is based on the union agreement back in Nfld plus a nebulous formula (which no one has ever explained adequately) for the Qatar campus. EFL teachers can make easily 1.5x to 2x what their similarly or better qualified and more experienced colleagues make at other regional institutions in KSA, UAE or Oman.

As has been reported in the past, the college overcharged the State by about $5 million in the past (which is now being repaid) - salary calculations were re-examined and salaries adjusted as a result but no one knows if the new calculations are correct or not - have to take HR's word for it - refer to paragraph 2 above.

Technically you are supposed to be on campus for 6 hours a day - in reality classes start at 0730 and end at 1730 (with more and more evening classes being offered and assigned - as volunteers sometimes don't step up) - so if you have 4 or 5 hours teaching (standard course load about 20 hours/week) in a day you can be on campus for 10 hours not including travel time - this does not mean if you have 2 hours teaching the next day that you can leave when this is done - you have to stay minimum for 6 hours. However, again this is enforced on an ad hoc basis depending on which faculty you work in.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments and Kelly Green,

Thank you for the detailed replies.
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kellygreen



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a FYI for anyone applying to CNAQ - Revenue Canada will have you in its sites. There have been some employees who have been audited and found wanting in CRA's opinion.

CNAQ reports to CRA in the form of the T4 for all employees (whether resident or non-resident for tax purposes) - and CRA is conducting stringent audits of CNAQ employees returning to Canada - one person with contacts at CRA said the stack of files was a good metre high if not higher.

It is the employee's responsibilty to meet CRA's requirements for non-residency. Anecdotal word has it that there are about a half dozen CNAQ employees are "working" for CRA for the next 3 - 5 years.
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Shimokitazawa



Joined: 16 Aug 2009
Posts: 260
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellygreen wrote:
As a FYI for anyone applying to CNAQ - Revenue Canada will have you in its sites. There have been some employees who have been audited and found wanting in CRA's opinion.

CNAQ reports to CRA in the form of the T4 for all employees (whether resident or non-resident for tax purposes) - and CRA is conducting stringent audits of CNAQ employees returning to Canada - one person with contacts at CRA said the stack of files was a good metre high if not higher.

It is the employee's responsibilty to meet CRA's requirements for non-residency. Anecdotal word has it that there are about a half dozen CNAQ employees are "working" for CRA for the next 3 - 5 years.


Thanks for the heads up on this.

When I left Canada in the 1990s, there was no official application to complete for "Non-Resident" status. I even called revenue Canada back then and they said that if there were any issues, that they would have to look at ties to Canada to determine residency. It was on a case-by-case deal.

Now, within the last decade, there seems to be an official application or process for declaring "Non-Residency". Can anyone here tell me if it would be worth my interest to look into this now or have I been gone for so long now that they could easily figure out that I've not been working and living in Canada all these years?

Last question for Kellygreen: So the time spent at CNAQ then is all pensionable service in Canada? If so, how many years will get you a pension at CNAQ, providing one stays long enough?
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SecretAgent69



Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The president said in his last meeting that the heir apparent himself sent him a letter telling everybody to get the new contract for 10 years signed asap. Take that as you will but to say that it is all rumor is disingenuous.

It's the best gig in the Gulf in terms of pay, workload, vacation, and perks. Students are pleasant to work with if you have a personality and prepare your classes properly. Problems with housing, contracts, schooling, etc. are common problems throughout the Gulf. The whiners are simply unable or unwilling to adjust. Rather than quitting, they would rather keep signing new contracts and then badmouth. None of them are running for the exits.

Pathetic individuals.

In terms of CRA, if you have cut all ties there is no problem. There could be a problem with individuals who have tried to get smart and play both sides of the coin by keeping things like their Canadian drivers license, credit cards, etc. Serves em right for not being more thorough.
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