Friday 22 February, 2019

Opposition questions '$12 million' package for HR manager at Petrojam

Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Peter Bunting on Tuesday questioned whether the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam has recruited a Human Resource Manager at a remuneration package in the region of $12 million.

According to Bunting, who was speaking in the House of Representatives, that amount would be three to four times the rate that was being paid in the private sector and at nearly twice the remuneration package that was being paid to the former HR manager.

Bunting was posing questions to the Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley. The Opposition Member of Parliament for Manchester Central in posing the questions, took offence to what he saw as the Minister’s “chastisement” of Opposition MP for South Eastern St Andrew , Julian Robinson, who, during the last sitting of the House had asked questions about the running of Petrojam. Bunting noted that the Minister had brushed aside Robinson’s concerns because he claimed they “lacked specifics.”

On Tuesday, Bunting said he came with specifics and pressed Dr Wheatley on how much the newly recruited HR manager was being paid.

“Normally you leave the public sector and go and get higher paying jobs in the private sector. In the case of the HR Manager, we see somebody leaving the private sector to go to the public sector at a compensation of three or four times what they were earning in the private sector and almost twice what the previous incumbent at Petrojam was earning,’ Bunting charged.

Bunting also asked whether persons in senior positions at Petrojam were being systematically fired. He noted that, since March 2016, the Chief Financial Officer, the Human Resource Manager, the Head of Strategic Planning and the Senior Engineer have all left.

Addressing the matter, Wheatley said: “As it relates to the specifics of the compensation package, I am sure Mr Speaker that there is a band that governs the compensation for all employees.”

“As it relates to the employment and firing of persons…the Auditor General is currently doing that audit…you will be provided with a detailed report,” Wheatley added.

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