Sat | Jan 19, 2019

'I did nothing wrong', Petrojam HR manager insists

Published:Thursday | July 19, 2018 | 10:17 AM
File photo

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

Yolande Ramharrack, the human resource manager at the scandal-hit Petrojam, has declared that she has done nothing wrong as an administrator and deserves the $13.04 million she earns each year.

In fewer than two months, Ramharrack's salary has moved from $10.5 million to $13.04 million.

The issue has been attracting the attention of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) for the past few weeks.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Ramharrack insisted that she did not break any rule at the state-owned oil refinery.

Responding to a query from PAAC member Fitz Jackson, the HR manager suggested that inaccurate claims were being made about the terms of her employment.

Reading from a document apparently provided to the committee by Petrojam, Jackson said: “Salary increase was granted within one month and paid retroactive to the start date. Salary increase was made on demands made by the HR manager based on the heavy IR (Industrial Relations) component of the portfolio."

Ramharrack took issue with some of the content of the document. 

"No way did I demand an increase in salary. No way did I flaunt the process at Petrojam. No way that I have been incompetent in executing my role as HR manager as persons would want to believe,” she said. 

Ramharrack also insisted that she was up to the task in carrying out her duties.

“I am a little disappointed that right now persons are speaking on my behalf without knowing the facts.”

She charged that if somebody is going to make a “public mockery” of her employment and abilities at Petrojam, she should at least have a say in what is presented to the committee.

Committee chairman Dr Wykeham McNeill gave the HR manager the opportunity to dispel any claims regarding her employment and salary.

She told the committee that due process was followed in her recruitment and if there were any anomalies she should not be forced to speak on them because she would not be aware of them.

However, Jackson said the application process to recruit Ramharrack was confined to one week, an exercise he described as very striking.

He said the incumbent, within a month and a half, had a change in her annual salary by more than $2.5 million. 

"Those are not normal things that happen in employment and as a human resource specialist you will attest that these are not the norm,” Jackson told Ramharrack.

"Does this represent an anomaly or not?"Jackson questioned.

Committee member Alando Terrelonge asked whether the PAAC was putting the HR manager on trial again and warned that members should refrain from treating civil servants in a manner that is unacceptable.

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