Both full-time and part-time lecturers of the state-owned University of Liberia have alarmed over repeated delays and irregularities by government in disbursement of their monthly salary, which is making life unbearable for them.
The University of Liberia Faculty Association or ULFA, parent body of lecturers at the UL reveals via a press release that since the start of 2023, salaries have delayed.
ULFA says employees of the University of Liberia are being paid between the 20th and end of the month for the previous month.
“The leadership of ULFA wishes to remind the UL authorities that issues of salaries are human rights matters and their delay without any remorse is a violation of the fundamental right of employees of the UL to live”, the group stresses thru its release.
It is highly paradoxical that government would champion free tuition at all public universities across the country but yet, it struggles in payment of staff’s salaries, especially lecturers, who are sacrificing to prepare youth of Liberia for the future.
The persistent delays in disbursement of lecturers’ salaries are not only inhumane but a recipe for corruption and compromise in the classroom. It should be discouraged to maintain professionalism and academic excellence at the University of Liberia and all public universities.
Salary situation is becoming a serious problem at all public universities. Early this year, faculties of Tubman University in Maryland County boycotted classes for a protracted period because of lack of delays in salaries, at the disadvantage of students.
The government should be bold enough to say it cannot sustain the tuition-freed public university program to allow students to shoulder their own tuition payment which would university administrators to generate money for smooth operation rather than toot political scores at the expense of starving lecturers.
We wonder what impact it makes for students to attend tuition-free public universities when lecturers come to class hungry and demoralized because they cannot take care of their families due to delays in salaries. How can they lecture effectively in the absence of salaries?
It may be recalled that the judiciary had to call in the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweah to explain why judges’ salaries were being delayed for several months before they could get paid. This is a similar situation being faced by university lecturers. We urge the government to move quickly in addressing the plight of lecturers at the University of Liberia to restore their human dignity.