Changes in HR Leadership to Help Improve Working Conditions

Salma Abdallah
Staff Reporter

September’s strike called for better working conditions - ALAIN EL HAJJ

Samir Riad is leaving the university as executive director of the university’s Human Resources and was replaced by Laila Khalil at the end of last month. This comes after a number of workers demanded his resignation in the strike that took place in September.

The duration of Riad’s work in the university lasted for about 19 months; he began working as Director of Human Resources in April 2010. He was successful in introducing a new structure and plan for the university’s staff and managers. His dismissal took place after the occurrence of many of the problems between the HR and the workers, many of which called for his resignation.

Walid Shibl, one of the members of the worker’s syndicate said about Riad, “He was not sincere in dealing with the workers in addition to being uncooperative. Also, he used not to accept the compromises we were trying to do in order to reach a solution that satisfies all parties.”

His replacement Laila Khalil has more than 28 years of experience in the field of Human Resources including 15 years of work experience in multinational companies. Khalil has worked at AUC before for more than 12 years since 2006 till 2009.

“I hope I can help people in their good times and bad ones; I will work on the application of equality and justice in dealing with them because this is the actual function of human resources,” she told The Independent as she conveyed her future plans.

She emphasized on the importance of workers knowing their rights as well as their working duties, and that they should differentiate between the work at the university and working in another organization.

“Action must be in the interests of workers and the interest of the university as a whole because we are in the same boat. If the university maintained its performance and had not been affected by any kind of crises facing Egypt in the current period, this would ensure that the worker retains his/her job,” said Khalil.

Khalil believes that she will be able to reach solutions to all the current problems facing the workers, yet she estimates HR will need at least six months in order to understand the current situation and to change it.

The workers showed acceptance of Khalil taking that position and they showed great trust and confidence in her ability to make their conditions better and solve the issues they have been facing during Riad’s work

“Leila as the Human Resources director is a source of confidence to all of us. We always asked the administration to give her the responsibility of being the Human Resources director because we always trusted her, and although it was not official, but we can say that Leila was the choice of the workers on campus,” said Tarek El Maghraby, a member of the independent workers’ syndicate.

El Maghraby commented on the timing of Riad’s resignation, saying that it was a very late decision and that the university should have taken such a decision a while ago.