By the Numbers: The Non-Administrative Staff at NYUAD

With the transition to the Saadiyat Island campus there have been several changes in NYU Abu Dhabi’s non-administrative staff contracts. The contracts ...

Nov 16, 2014

With the transition to the Saadiyat Island campus there have been several changes in NYU Abu Dhabi’s non-administrative staff contracts. The contracts with ADNH Compass and Serco were transferred to Tamkeen, NYUAD’s government partner. This article will look into NYUAD’s contracted staff in transportation, security and retail, directly overseen by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management. Note that while the university does not directly recruit workers for its contracts, it has a defined set of standards contractors need to follow regardless of how workers enter our community.
These are the demographics of NYUAD’s non administrative staff for November 2014 as reported by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management Associate Compliance Officer Erum Raza.
As of this month, NYUAD has 252 non-administrative staff working primarily in security, transportation and retail, such as in the bookstore, supervised by different companies. This is an increase of 80 staff with the transition to Saadiyat Island.
The most significant change in NYUAD’s contract staff numbers is in the area of security, since the number of people in Public Safety has more than doubled. Another significant change has been the shifting of dining services contracts to Tamkeen, according to a management plan in place since the inception of the university. However, this contract will be transferred back to NYUAD in 2015. Other contracts managed by Tamkeen include facilities administration, technology installation and post-construction works.
Only a quarter of NYUAD contracted staff are female, similar to the immigration trends of the region. However, this is expected to change as NYUAD contract staff numbers grow and the management of dining and facilities contracts are transferred from Tamkeen to the university.
NYUAD contracted staff come from 12 different countries:
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Approximately 12 percent of NYUAD contracted staff speak English as their first language. The remainder are bilingual or multilingual and speak the following as their first language:
The training NYUAD contracted staff members have received varies depending on the area they currently work in. For instance, all security guards are required by law to take specific security training courses and pass a series of licensing exams and all drivers have been trained for their specific occupations. Many NYUAD contracted staff members have college and graduate degrees and technical training from their home countries and have worked in completely different professions than they currently work in here.
Additionally, NYUAD has an optional training program that provides English language courses to contracted staff, with currently 121 staff members enrolled in these classes. Over the past few years, 147 have completed the English in the Workplace Program. Because of the increase in contracted staff and demographic changes, this year, NYUAD has also launched a Raising Cultural Awareness in the Workplace workshop, as well as professional development writing workshops for supervisor level staff.
The majority of NYUAD contracted staff have families in their home countries, explained Raza. Although a small number have spouses and children with whom they reside in the UAE. However, many of the individuals whose immediate family members live in their home countries have some other family members here, such as siblings or cousins.
“The majority of our contract staff reside in accommodation facilities that our office monitors to ensure compliance with our labor standards,” Raza explains. Other NYUAD contracted staff members also live in their own accommodations in various parts of Abu Dhabi, normally “with other family members.”
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