University of Liberia’s Faculty Threatens Strike Over Delayed Payment of Allowances
Monrovia – Aggrieved staff and faculty members of the University of Liberia (UL) have threatened to disengage from all academic activities, if their salary and allowances for the months of June and July 2019 are not paid to them.
The group under the banner ‘Concerned University of Liberia Faculty Association (CONULFA)’ comprises full time and part time employees of the state-run university.
In a communication address to the President of UL, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, CONULFA warned that if their money is not deposited in their respective accounts on or before July 19, 2019, they will not administer the second semester’s final examinations for academic 2018/2019 year.
The exams are expected to start today, July 22.
According to the group, the failure of the administration to pay employees’ salaries and allowances for the months of June and July is causing ‘serious’ economic hardship for them and their families.
The aggrieved workers also lamented that owing to the situation, instructors are grappling with difficulties in commuting to both the Capitol Hill and Fendell campuses of the university to teach.
Excerpt of the communication: “Predicated upon the aforementioned, we are requesting the University of Liberia’s Administration to immediately make payment of our salaries and allowances on or before July 19, 2019. A further delay to this request will lead the faculty and employees to disengage from all academic activities including the administering of the final exams for second semester 2018/2019 which is expected to begin on Monday, July 22, 2019.”
They furthered that in meetings held simultaneously on July 17, 2019 on both Capitol Hill and Fendell campuses of the University of Liberia, they unanimously agreed that the “June and July salaries, allowances and other benefits of all employees be credited to their respective bank accounts on or before July 19, 2019; that all monies deducted from the faculty and employees’ salary accounts which the university owed should be paid in full on or before July 19, 2019; that the university of Liberia be exempted from the Pro-poor salary deduction scheme and that adjunct professors or instructors receive their salaries, allowances and benefits as per the time stipulated in the contracts with the University.”
Meanwhile, when contacted, the Vice President for UL Relations, Atty. Norris Tweah noted that he was not aware of CONULFA and the communication to the university’s President.
Atty. Tweah, however revealed that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has made a commitment to start payment of salaries and allowances for June beginning July 24, 2019.
According to him, this will be followed by the payment for the month of July on or before the 30th of this month.
FrontPage Africa also spoke with the President of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA), Cllr. Viama J. Blama and he confirmed Mr. Tweah’s assertions.
According to Cllr. Blama, the UL Administration had earlier assured the employees of addressing all of the concerns raised by the group.
He noted that although the aggrieved workers have the right to express their opinion, it was prudent for them to have met with the leadership of ULFA for clarity before seeking redress to the UL administration.
He noted that any instructors’ refusal to administer their exams to the students after they (students) have put in their effort and time to study will be frustrating.
He called on them to go to work and administer their exams and assure them that all is being worked out to address their grievances.