IPICYT equation: excellence plus efforts equal salary reduction

More complaints against the director and less income to researchers

By La Orquesta

In April 2017, researchers from the Potosino Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (Ipicyt) suffered a salary cut that the director of the Institute, Alejandro Ricardo Femat Flores, justified in an interview with Globalmedia: “I would not classify it as a salary reduction, it has to do with productivity and is agreed with the people “.

An Ipicyt researcher had explained to La Orquesta that the stimuli that were cut to the academics are granted by the level of performance that each researcher has and are obtained after an evaluation that is done every two years, in which the number of articles that were published are verified, in addition to the concepts that are granted depending on the level of researcher in question.

According to the interviewee, the year 2017 had already been evaluated when the cut was made, so in all that year there should not be any discount on the salaries of Ipicyt researchers.

In addition, on Monday, through a press release, academics from Ipicyt responded that “Femat Flores is missing the truth” with the declarations he gave to Globalmedia, because according to Article 84 of the Federal Labor Law: “a salary is integrated with the payments made in cash for daily quota, gratuities, perceptions, room, bonuses, commissions, benefits in kind and any other amount or benefit that is delivered to the worker for his work”.

According to this, the Ipicyt workers’ statement says, the basic salary and the stimulus for productivity make up the salary of the Ipicyt’s academics “and we were receiving it in the 15 years prior to this situation. Therefore, the suspension of payments of our incentives that Femat Flores decreed at the end of April 2017 is, quite simply, a reduction in our salaries”.

In an interview for La Orquesta on May 8 of this year, Femat Flores said “All institutions with different proportions of public participation participate in the offer of scientific-technological solutions to the private sector and from there we make our own resources and hence the benefits that the staff may have”.

The head of the Ipicyt said that this information is known by researchers who complain, “in the personal academic statute says how the stimuli are composed, they know that perfectly. I know it since I was only a scientist, all the people who arrive receive the necessary information, of course they know it”.

That same May 8, Ipicyt workers would protest in the facilities of the Institute, but the protest was not carried out, which was justified with a text message allegedly sent to the media by Ipicyt workers.

“No, there is no movement in the Ipicyt. As a result of the reduction of the budget in 2017 at federal level, the stimuli that the researchers had were removed. There was no reduction in salaries of researchers is important to say. It is a federal tax issue that is being sought to be solved. Important to say that it is stimuli, not salary. It’s something that was already said and raised in the last march that researchers and students made a month ago for Carranza, if you remember. That part is the institution, seeking to generate more research projects and services that generate their own resources, in order not to depend on the Federation and to generate resources to return this support that was had”.

The press release sent by Ipicyt researchers indicates that the External Evaluation Commission (CEE), made up of Mexican scientists of the highest level, evaluated the performance of Ipicyt in March of this year (2018) and ruled
“That performance in substantive activities, such as graduate students, publications, research projects, performance indicators, patents, etc., is successful.”

According to the press release of the academics, the CEE awarded the Ipicyt the rating of excellent and pointed out that said rating “reflects the effort and commitment of the Ipicyt community”.

The same CEE -according to the statement sent by Ipicyt researchers- added in its opinion that some aspects of the Ipicyt concern them:

“The budget that Conacyt grants to Ipicyt does not correspond to its size, productivity and impact. The uncertainty caused by the disproportionate reduction in the amount of stimulus to most of the community and the poor communication in the Ipicyt between the authorities and their community has paid a general discontent”.

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