During his meeting today with representatives of the employees of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs (MSAA), Zahi Hawass as minister discussed the current issues facing the organisation. The meeting discussed how to improve the ministry, to raise salaries, and secure better health insurance and other benefits.
“We are also planning to enforce stricter rules concerning bonuses, which will be granted only to hard workers,” Hawass told employees, adding that the ministry will also equalise its pay scale, so each position earns a fair salary according to effort. A finance committee has also been created to investigate how to raise salaries.
Hawass announced during the meeting that the ministry will give scholarships to employees based on qualifications, also taking into consideration those with special needs or health issues. Employees will be chosen to accompany traveling exhibitions based on qualifications and seniority, which has been the case since 2002. In this way, he pointed out, "we hope to make a more balanced and fair system for granting scholarships and positions."
A newly created department within the ministry for "employee concerns and complaints", headed by archaeologist Abdel Wahab, was also announced. Another goal, Hawass said, is to find money in the ministry’s budget to hire buses to transport employees between home and work.
Hawass stated that the ministry has many talented people on temporary contracts. “I spoke to the prime minister about making these contracts permanent, so these valuable workers will have secure positions,” he said.
Hawass also promised to support the creation of a syndicate for archaeologists.