UG asks Kissoon to pay back $77,000 for overpayment

The University of Guyana is claiming that they have overpaid Freddie Kissoon following the termination of his contract and is now asking that he repays more than $77,000.

However, the dismissed lecturer says that this latest twist clearly shows a “political vindictive instinct” which will have to be addressed by his attorneys as he has no intention of paying.

Kissoon received a letter which was signed byMrs D Brathwaite, Assistant Personnel Officer (Leave &Training) on behalf of the Personnel Officer via email last Friday.

Freddie Kissoon

The letter stated that further to the Acting Registrar’s letter of January 23, 2012, “please be informed that approval has been given for you to be paid three months’ salary and housing allowance in lieu of notice.”

Consequent upon completion of Last Pay Certificate requirements, the letter stated, approval has also been given for Kissoon to be paid salary and housing allowance in lieu of twelve days’ Terminal Leave and pro-rated gratuity computed on the basis of ten per cent (10%) of his basic salary for the period September 1, 2011 to January 22, 2012.

The letter stated that it has however been determined that Kissoon is indebted to the university. The debt was apparently incurred for the overpayment of salary for the period January 23-31, 2012 to the tune of $62,092; overpayment of housing allowance for the period January 23-31, 2012, $12,418 and overpayment of travelling allowance for the period January 23-31, 2012, $3,321.

The total amount being claimed by the University is $77, 831.

“By copy of this letter, the Chief Accountant (ag) is requested to take the necessary action and you are asked to liaise with her in this regard. On behalf of the University of Guyana, I take this opportunity to thank you for your period of service to the Institution, and wish you success in your future endeavours,” the letter stated.

Meanwhile an infuriated Kissoon told this newspaper yesterday that his contract was terminated in the middle of the night before questioning why it could not have been allowed to run until the end of the month.

“Why was the termination so immediate? …I don’t intend to pay the money,” he said, adding that the matter will be further discussed with his lawyers.

Kissoon said that attempts were made at finding an acceptable way out of the situation but the university and the Ministry of Labour could reach none.

Pointing out that he had served the public for most of his life, he said that he does not believe that a public sector employee should be fired in the manner he was.

He called on all Guyanese not to accept this and for the government and the opposition to meet and discuss the issue.

Kissoon’s dismissal sparked widespread protest at the university which caused the cancellation of classes and a sit-in by staffers for several weeks.

Issues such as poor facilities at the institution were highlighted during picketing exercises and during discussions between members of the university and stakeholders.

Kissoon’s contract was terminated during a UG Council meeting and although he was a member of the council he was not invited to the meeting. His termination letter did not outline why he was dismissed and Dean of the Social Sciences Faculty O’Neil Greaves would only say that the decision was based on his job performance.

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