Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Petrojam manager hired without required degree

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/ Senior Gleaner Writer
Telroy Morgan

Yolande Ramharrack, the human resource manager at the scandal-hit Petrojam, yesterday admitted that the advertisement to which she responded for the position required applicants to have a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree, which she did not have in February 2017 at the time of applying.

Ramharrack still does not have the MBA in July 2018, and her highest qualification includes an undergraduate degree and several certificates. But she replaced Roselee Scott-Heron, who held a diploma, undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, as well as a host of certificates.

During an appearance before the Wykeham McNeill-chaired Public Administration and Appropriations Committee of Parliament, Ramharrack, who was a member of the team from PetroJam, advised the sitting that she was "halfway through completing my MBA" - the specific qualification stated in the advertisement.

"I responded to an advertisement in the newspaper. I believe my response letter to the application would be about the first week in January ... ," Ramharrack told the committee.

"We have not breached the salary scale at [any] point in time ... I have understood that there is a request for the job description. The job description does indicate that the qualification is an MBA or equivalent qualification," she said.

"I do have graduate certification and I am at least halfway to earning my MBA currently ... ," Ramharrack added.

Her salary started at $6.9m in 2017, but her total package flew to more than $12m in a year as she benefitted from an increase in the salary band. Then it moved to more than $13.04m when all allowances were added. The PAAC was told that additional salaries were paid to her because of skills that she brought to the entity, which resulted in the termination of the contract of personnel in industrial relations.

However, Telroy Morgan, acting general manager, told the PAAC that despite the skills brought by Ramharrack, the entity had employed a consultant in legal and industrial relations. The salary was not disclosed.

Morgan also reported that a claim of unfair dismissal from the previous HR manager was currently before the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT).

Committee member Marissa Dalrymple, on hearing Ramharrack's qualifications, remarked that it sounded like "someone qualified". She said that it should not be taken that someone with a second degree was more suitable for a job than someone without.