Disagreements persist between JEA president and members on proposed reforms

(Photo: Jordan Engineers Association)
AMMAN — There seems to be no end in sight to the series of disagreements between Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) President Ahmad Sammarah Al-Zoubi, and several members of the central board, who believe that the recent consultations on reforms that the association has embarked on are mere formalities and do not satisfy members’ needs.اضافة اعلان

The Cabinet last week approved a set of amendments to the JEA’s 2021 retirement law, which aims to preserve the retirement fund’s functions and financial position to continue to perform its services.

Under the amendments, provisions will be created for young engineers with a low subscription payment, giving this segment conditional exemption from additional fees, in addition to placing a ceiling on the number of subscriptions that allow members to obtain a pension, and prevent members from shifting to higher segments in the last two years before retirement. The measures aim to secure the fund’s financial balance.

Zoubi highlighted the importance of the recent amendments as they would serve to strengthen the fund’s financial standing based on actuarial studies conducted by the association. The new provisions would also encourage young engineers to contribute to the fund.

Not everybody, though, is optimistic about the reforms. "I was a central board member for almost three years before I resigned, and throughout that entire period I never saw one institutional reform," said the head of JEA electrical engineering division Malek Amayreh, who believed that the amendments “are just formalities that miss the key issues and hardly meet the members’ needs.”

Amayreh said that the amendments should have included legislation that allows the president to be held accountable, “especially with regards to the JEA fund, which is estimated in the millions of dinars.”

JEA Vice President Fawzi Masad said that the JEA bylaws “are too old and needed to be reviewe,,” adding that a decision was taken to update the bylaws through intensive consultations with legal experts. He said any amendment must begin with new bylaws.

On December 24, the general assembly will meet to approve the new law, after which it will be presented to the Legislation and Opinion Bureau and Parliament for endorsement.

Masad said both current and new members will appreciate the proposed amendments, voicing confidence that a new law will help resolve many of the JEA’s challenges and will better serve its members.

Four JEA board members resigned earlier this month after clashing with the president over bylaw amendments and election issues. All four resigned board members belong to the “Enjaz” political list, an alliance between Islamists and independents.

Read more National news