Members of the Liberian Senate have charged the Director General of the Civil Service Agency, George Werner, with contempt and fined him LD$4,999.
The Senate has also ordered Director Werner to make a public apology to that august body for acts of gross disrespect.
The Senate’s decision is based on a proposal from the CSA that employees or non-essential staff of government ministries and agencies that were told to stay home as a result of the Ebola outbreak should be dismissed.
Appearing before the full plenary of the Liberian Senate on Thursday in chambers, Director Werner said that the decision is intended to reduce Government workforce on grounds that many of those employees are unproductive or are engaged in duplication of functions.
He argued that if the proposal is implemented, government will increase salaries and benefits for employees that will stay in the job, noting that as it stands, all employees are earning salaries and benefits with maximum of US$125.00 per month, something, he said has reduced government employees to mere beggars.
According to him, government payroll is not welfare corporation where people will survive despite not being effective on the job, stressing that not everyone sent home will be affected by the proposed ‘reform to the public sector’. The CSA boss said only irrational people will consider the planned reform policy as being against the Liberian People – a comment that enraged the senators.
Speaking on the floor of the senate, Montserrado County Senator, Madam Geraldine Doe Sheriff, said the action of the CSA boss is a clever attempt to empower the private sector to follow suit, where thousands of Liberians will be dismissed by foreign investors without cause.
Sinoe County Senior Senator Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan said the people of his county are disappointed in Director Werner , saying that for the CSA boss, who is a son of southeast Liberia, to come up with ideas to put people out of job is a disgrace.
For her part, Bong Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, warned that the unforeseen impact of the planned downsize will be uncontrollable and render the government uncomfortable with her citizens. However, the Government of Liberia has clarified that there are no immediate plans to permanently lay off non-essential employees that were asked to stay home as a result of the Ebola outbreak.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday at the Daily Ebola Briefing hosted by the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Minister Lewis G. Brown, says Government has made absolutely no decision to dismiss employees, who have been asked to remain home, nor is the government considering such action at this difficult time, contrary to Director Werner’s proposal.