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Health workers prepare for elections

Authorities at the National Health Workers Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) say elections will be conducted on 9 September to choose a new corps of officers that will steer the affairs of the institution.

NAHWUL Elections Commission told a news conference on Wednesday, 16 August that health workers and medical practitioners here will go to Bong County to elect their new officials in September.

NAHWUL is encouraging individuals interested in contesting for positions to submit their letters of application with the position of interest clearly indicated, along with current CV and three references.

It says Liberian citizens aged 25 or above, employed in the health sector and have graduated from high school are eligible to submit application. The guideline bars applications from Liberian health workers who are occupying positions such as minister, deputy minister, assistant minister, program director, departmental directors, county health officers, medical director, hospital administrators, and human resource managers.

NAHWUL Secretary General Mr. George Poe Williams says to revamp the organization for union status, a conference was organized last week by executives of institution and the Liberia Labor Congress (LLC) in Gardnersville.

“There have been a lot of obstacles in the way by officials of government to prevent the organization from gaining full union status for the past three years,” Mr. Williams claims.
He insists that there is nothing in the civil servant standing orders that stops civil servants from organizing a trade union or establishing a union, opposed to what he claims government has been suggesting.

According to Mr. Williams, NAHWUL has met requirements in a program allegedly introduced by government called ‘Organizing and Reorganizing of Trade Unions’ across the country.

“We are no longer National Health Workers Association Liberia, but we are now the National Health Workers Union of Liberia,” he proclaims, and adds that becoming a union will give them the mantle to collective bargaining rights and to sit at the table with employers and discuss issues on the conditions of work including benefits for the workers.

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He believes that government has no reason to prevent certificating the health workers on their union status on grounds that they have completed the process of organizing and reorganizing, and LLC has agreed to ensure that the organization is formulated to represent both public and private health workers of Liberia.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley


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