Disabled Authority staff protest outside interference, low salaries

KUWAIT: A number of employees of the Public Authority for the Disabled (PAD) staged a brief protest yesterday at the PAD headquarters. “The protest will be for an hour because we are providing humanitarian services to the community and we cannot disrupt them,” said Nasser Al-Shelimi, head of the PAD workers’ union. He stressed that “any disruption of the authority is disrupting the interests of the disabled, and we just want to deliver our demands through the media.”

The sit-in was held after another protest in Irada Square that was attended by a number of MPs, who had promised them that they will question Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Subaih and demand the resignation of the director of the PAD, but they did not do so. “Handicap signs and plates sometimes take up to three months to get ready,” complained an activist.

Head of the Anti-Corruption Authority Nawaf Al-Suwait said: “We always wonder why the problem is always at the PAD? The answer is simple – the flaw lies in the lack of activation of article 27 of the disabilities act, for which the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah should be held responsible.” “The article says that the prime minister is the one who will supervise and not the minister of social affairs and labor,” he said. Suwait pointed out that Subaih previously had disagreements with her employees in the ministry and the authority, adding that PAD employees are paid low salaries.

The deputy general manager for educational and rehabilitative services at the special needs authority Majid Al-Saleh said that his authority has been increasing the number of employees to serve people with special needs. “We did not and will not be late in serving people with disabilities and we will always facilitate their paperwork in the fastest time,” he said.

The PAD employees’ demands are to stop outside interference in the work and functions of PAD, stop making arbitrary personnel decisions, stop getting people for PAD supervisory vacancies from outside because they already have expertise within the body, and raise employees’ salaries.

By Faten Omar

This article was published on 25/12/2016