Over 21 Research Assistants at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko District, Bong County have staged a demonstration in demand of salary increment.
According to our Bong County correspondent, the aggrieved Research Assistants set up road blocks at the main entrance of CARI and threatened to take further action if the institution’s Director General Dr. Marcus Jones refuses to address their concerns.
They said the leadership of CARI has over the past allegedly refused to increase their salaries maintaining, it endangers their forward movement as Workers of the Institution.
According to them, the management of the Institute recently employed five persons through the alleged recommendation of Bong County Electoral District #3 Rep. Josiah Marvin Cole, claiming that the new employees are making better salaries at CARI.
Further, the demonstrators alleged that Dr. Marcus Jones continues to say there is no money for Research Assistants while new employees allegedly get better salaries.
The demonstrators told a team of reporters that the administration of former Director General Walter Wiles agreed to pay each Research Assistant US$500.00 monthly.
But they observe that since that time, their monthly stipends have drastically reduced from that amount to US$200.00.
The CARI Assistant Researchers have blamed Dr. Jones for allegedly downplaying their concerns and at the same time pushing forward the interest of other workers.
Since the ascendency of Dr. Jones as Director General of CARI, the Research Assistants claim that delay in salaries payment and salaries increment have been some of their major problems.
For his part, Dr. Jones told the protesters to remain calm, describing the situation as an age – old issue.
According to Dr. Jones, he does not know anything about agreement signed that CARI would pay each of the Research Assistants US$500.00.
He calls on the aggrieved workers to be patient and await the passage of the budget.Dr. Jones maintains that when the budget is passed, the Board of the Institute will decide the increment of salaries.
Dr. Jones told reporters that if the Board of the institute were not interested in the works of the Assistant Researchers, it would have driven them away.He also denies speculation that Rep. Cole influenced employment at the Institute.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley