The National Health Workers’ Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) has voiced its opposition to alleged reductions of their salaries by the government, demanding complete payments of their July and August salaries and incentives no later than 15 September.
Addressing journalists at the Union’s office in Paynesville Tuesday, 3 August, NAHWUL Secretary General Mr. George Poe Williams says health workers here have experienced “acute deduction in their meager salaries across the country.”“What we are experiencing with our pay at this moment is unacceptable and the necessary steps must be taken now to remedy the situation,” he warns.According to him, efforts to get clarity from line managers have failed.
To further inflame the situation, Mr. Williams complains that some uninformed individuals are misinforming the public about the salary harmonization wherein 65% of salaries are accordingly being paid in United States Dollars and 35% being paid in Liberian Dollars.
“Far from that, some health workers received less than 20% of their salaries in Liberian Dollars for the Month of July and found no United States Dollars in their USD account,” Mr. Williams says.
He asserts that the salaries health workers make do not commensurate with the current economic realities here.“We have been making these salaries when things were very cheap on the market and we are still making the same salaries when prices have quadrupled themselves. And so how do you expect us to live?” Mr. Williams ponders.
Quizzed concerning their next plan if government does not heed to their demands, Mr. Williams says “what will be done when we get to the bridge, we will cross.”“And if we cannot send our children to school, it would be better maybe we go on refugee camps and so forth. But what will be done when we get to the bridge, we will cross,” he continues.He reveals that NAHWUL has about 15,000 membership across the country, and some of them have not gotten pay.
He says some health workers got some United States Dollars and Liberian Dollars which combine fall short of their regular pay, and still others in the same categories have got no pay at all.Mr. Williams argues that if 65% USD and 35% LRD is the case, why did not the Ministry of Finance carry out this uniform plan of payments?
On behalf of the NAHWUL, Mr. Williams calls on government and all peaceful Liberians to plead with the government to with immediate effect, “complete payments of July and August salaries and incentives no later than September 15, 2019.”
Further, the health workers’ union here urges the Ministry of Education to extend late registration of schools across the country to enable admission of civil servants’ children.The Union urges that the previous pronouncement that all government employees earning below 1,000.00 USD be exempted from the plan salary deduction be implemented.
In conclusion, the Union says as of this budget year, it wants President George MannehWeah’s promise that was made on February 8, 2018 about health workers’ salaries during a meeting to come into effect.By Winston W. Parley