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Public Sector Workers in Liberia have given a two-week ultimatum to the George Weah-led government to pay them their salary arrears.

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Public Sector Workers in Liberia have given a two-week ultimatum to the George Weah-led government to pay them their salary arrears.

The public sector workers under the banner the Consortium of Public Sector Workers’ Organizations of Liberia, have also kicked against the government’s much-publicized salary harmonization.

This exercise involves a reduction in the salaries of some elected officials such as representatives as well as employees and political appointees whose salaries exceed a certain amount.

They say, Government’s salary harmonization is unrealistic and could lead to further hardship for thousands of employees.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday, the public sector organizations accused the Government of owing them for several months.

Moibah Johnson is the head of the National Civil Servants Association of Liberia who read the statement.

“The Government of Liberia is indebted to Public Sector workers ranging from two to eight-month salary arrears; and the GOL salary harmonization is inherently flawed, and has brought about discrepancies, public outcry and unjustifiable reductions in the salaries of Public Sector Workers; and, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is apparently overseeing and implementing the GOL harmonization process instead of the Civil Service Agency, which has the statutory mandate to properly place workers into their respective grades or classes; and the GOL has failed to remit all insurance premiums deducted from Public Sector Workers, thereby resulting to untold suffering and premature deaths of Public Sector Workers and their dependents,” he indicated.

Meanwhile, Johnson says, the current take-home pay of Public Sector Workers is not commensurate with the current economic reality in the country.

He demands that the government pays all outstanding salary arrears to its workers within a period of two weeks or risk a go-slow.

“All salary arrears for Public Sector Workers be paid on or before October 31, 2019.   There should be an immediate halt to all unapproved and unauthorized percentage deductions on the salaries of Public Sector Workers by the MFDP; the payrolls be brought back to CSA, which is clothed with the Statutory responsibility to appropriate salaries based on CSA grading system. Failure on the part of the Government of Liberia to address these grave concerns that border around the Labor Rights and economic livelihood of Public Sector Workers and their families within the period of two weeks from this date, will result in a nation-wide go-slow action,” he noted.

The public sector workers’ associations demanding the payment of salary arrears include the National Teachers Association of Liberia, the National Health Workers Union of Liberia, Civil Servants Union of Liberia and Liberia Labor Congress.

The inability of the government to pay its workers on time is turning many citizens against the administration who came to power nearly two years ago, promising to alleviate poverty and economically empower Liberians.

Meanwhile, the Liberian government is expected to speak on the matter at the Ministry of Information regular press conference on Thursday in Monrovia.

Full Statement below:

RESOLUTION BY THE CONSORTIUM OF PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS ORGANIZATIONS OF LIBERIA

OCTOBER 23, 2019

This Resolution by the Public Sector Workers under the umbrella “The Consortium of Public Sector Workers’ Organizations of Liberia, is intended to engage the Government of Liberia to find a peaceful solution in addressing the plight of Public Sector Workers to preserve peace and sustain democracy in Liberia.

1. WHEREAS, the Government of Liberia is indebted to Public Sector workers ranging from two to eight-month salary arrears; and

2. WHEREAS, the GOL salary harmonization is inherently flawed, provocative and unrealistic and has brought about discrepancies, public outcry and  unjustifiable reductions in the salaries of  Public Sector Workers; and

3. WHEREAS, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is apparently overseeing and implementing the GOL harmonization process instead of the Civil Service Agency, which has the statutory mandate to properly place workers into their respective grades or classes; and

4. WHEREAS, the GOL has failed to remit all insurance premiums deducted from Public Sector Workers to the respective Insurance companies, thereby resulting to untold suffering and premature deaths of Public Sector Workers and their dependents; and

5. WHEREAS, the National Teachers Association of Liberia Membership dues and credit union savings are not being deducted as was agreed upon by the membership with supporting documents submitted to the CSA and the MFDP, thus resulting to sabotage in the operations of the Association; and

6. WHEREAS, the GOL has failed to honor her commitment to employing all vetted supplementary/voluntary teachers on the Ministry of Education payroll as of July 2019 leaving said teachers’ fate in dissolution resulting to the shortage of teachers in Public Schools across the country; and

7. WHEREAS, the current take-home pay of Public Sector Workers cannot commensurate with the present economic realities to cater to their families and household needs

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CONSORTIUM OF PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS ORGANIZATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA HAVE RESOLVED ON THIS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019 THAT:

1.    All salary arrears for Public Sector Workers be paid on or before October 31, 2019.

2.    There should be an immediate halt to all unapproved and unauthorized percentage deductions on the salaries of Public Sector Workers by the MFDP;

3.    The payrolls are brought back to CSA, which is clothed with the Statutory responsibility to appropriate salaries based on CSA grading system

4.    All insurance premiums deducted from Public Sector Workers be remitted to the respective insurance companies;

5.    The NTAL Credit Union Cooperative membership dues, shares, and loans are regularly deducted and remitted to the NTAL as enshrined in the legal document submitted to CSA and MFDP;

6.    The NTAL membership dues of 2% per member as enshrined in the resolution from the Delegates Convention be fully implemented and remitted to the Organization for its smooth operations;

7.    The Government of Liberia immediately employ all vetted Supplementary/Voluntary teachers;

Failure on the part of the Government of Liberia to address these grave concerns that border around the Labor Rights and economic livelihood of Public Sector Workers and their families within the period of two weeks from this date, will result to a NATION-WIDE GO SLOW ACTION BY ALL PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS WITHIN THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA.

We hereby certify that the foregoing RESOLUTION was adopted by the Consortium of Public Sector Workers Organizations of Liberia at its Special Technical Sitting on this 23rd day of October 2019 in the City of Monrovia, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia.

Signed:

1.    National Teachers Association of Liberia______________

2.    National Health Workers Union of Liberia_____________

3.    MCSS Teachers’ Association_______________________

4.    Supplementary Teachers’ Association of Liberia________

5.    Civil Servants Union of Liberia_____________________

6.    Liberia Labor Congress__________________________

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