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Old 15-06-2005, 04:17 AM
mangitbay mangitbay is offline
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Unhappy Dual salary system in PNG?

Can someone confirm or deny if such a system do exist in our country.

Having worked for a private company for the last 10 years at home, I know what range of salary were paid to professional PNGan's for a particular mining company. The salary varied between the various professions and the type of qualifications. A portion of these professionals (4 in fact) during my time there were at the top of the middle management level and acting in various senior management roles when managers do go on leave.

Within the same department or other departments that I had dealings with, expatriates were brought in to fill-in or maintain a level of "technical expertise" to the work force. As it turned out, these "technical experts" were again learning from the professional national staff outfit. Till to this day, the same is still happening.

Having moved elsewhere, and still working for private firms, there is a difference in the salary scale and levels. For most private firms, employees are paid for what they are worth regardless of who they are. Any bonus depends very much on each individual output.

Just recently, I was asked to submit my application for a senior mining position in PNG. Hey, this is a golden opportunity to see if anything has changed in relation to salary paid to the professional national staff in PNG's mining sector.

I got a telephone interview in the middle of the night our time. The interview was for about an hour or so. Questions centered around the technical issues relating to the job and reporting structure, political climate and general life style which took most part of the interview process. About 4 people were conducting the interview with me. At the end of their session, the general manager asked me if I had any questions to ask the panel. I told him that I had 2 questions for them and they should give me honest answers to both of my questions. The GM told me to go ahead and ask the questions. I delibrately did not want to ask about salary.

Without them knowing, and did not have the benefit of seeing them face to face, I had my stop watch out and ready to time their initial response to my questions.

Q1: How serious is the company's commitment to sustainability challenges in PNG? ...............Time: 30 seconds and took 20 minutes to explain. (My view - took too long for an answer - they were not prepared for such question or no real coporate value relating to sustainability).

Q2: What portion of your middle management and senior management teams will be PNGan's? Follow-up question - what time frame is your company looking at achieving this objective?...........Time: 45 seconds and took 30 minutes to explain. (My view - took to long for an answer. No long-term plans for nationals. Not prepared for such questons).

I thank them for their answers and was about to say goodbye when the GM me asked if I want to talk about money. Oh, okay, lets talk money. The HR person asked me of my salary expectation. I told her that I know the salary range currently being paid to PNG professionals in the mining sector, i.e how much back then, give a few CPI increases and the expected starting gross. I asked her what benefits they are willing to provide to a national to keep the money in his/her pocket. Finally I gave them an indication of how much I would like to be paid.........Pay me like a professional Australian coming into PNG to work!

There was a dead silence..........and I never got a second phone call from them again.

I played along and found out that nothing really has changed in relation to salaries paid to professional nationals in the mining sector. Regardless of how smart a PNGan's can be in doing his/her job - they are not rewarded accordingly within their own motherland.

I was later told by a member of the interview panel that position was offered to an expatriate for more money than what I was asking. He also confirmed my prediction that they were very surprised that I did not bring the money issued first-up. I just laughed and said, sometimes money is not everything some people look for in a job. Some people will look for challenges. Where challenges are met with remarkable output, rewards come thereafter.

The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb. Sirach 1:12- Pro-Life

Last edited by mangitbay; 18-06-2005 at 12:51 AM.
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