Princess Noura University has said it is not to blame after Saudi women teachers there complained their salaries had been cut and foreigners had replaced them.
In a statement, the Riyadh-based university said the teachers had to take up their grievances with the company who hired them, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily reported.
Some of the affected teachers told the newspaper that the company officials have promised them that they would get the same full salary until the end of their contract after they threatened to resign.
Some 30 Saudi women English teachers said they had recently been demoted to the position of assistant teachers, in addition to receiving a 50 percent salary cut.
The university has replaced them with native English speaking teachers of Arab origin as part of measures to ensure the quality of education and serve the interests of students.
The demoted employees were asked to work as assistants to the new non-Saudi teachers after signing an agreement to work for a full academic year with a salary of SR6,000.
In a press statement, the university clarified that it is not directly involved in contract signings with the teachers, who are employed as part of the university’s Preparatory Year Deanship program.
“The university has not sacked any teachers nor demoted them after imposing any salary cuts. On the contrary, the university is keen to retain them,” said a university statement.
“The alleged action was taken against them by the company in charge of their appointment, and this was done as per the directive of experts from the University of Auckland, who were entrusted by the university to supervise and follow up teaching activity under the preparatory year program.”
According to the statement, the experts suggested that these teachers should undergo training programs to improve their capabilities and fulfill the criteria for full time teachers in the future.
“The company in charge of hiring academic staff is responsible for demoting them as assistants until their completion of training aimed at enabling them to become full time teachers after they acquire the necessary skills,” the statement said.
It also stressed the university’s keenness in improving the quality of education provided to students as well as its commitment to provide jobs to qualified Saudi women.
Meanwhile, some teachers who were demoted to assistants told the newspaper that some of them decided not to stay and resign.
After a report on their story was published in the newspaper, officials from the Company for Training Experts and Saudi British Institute, which are in charge of hiring teachers, approached the teachers and promised them that they would receive their full salary of SR6,000 until the end of their contract period, and that the university would conduct training courses for teachers who did not have CELTA certification.