Government of Liberia, UL Administration Address Employees’ Salary Disparity, Increment Request

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FENDELL, Louisiana Township – The Government of Liberia and the administration of the University of Liberia have begun addressing some of the major demands raised by the University of Liberia (UL) Faculty Association (ULFA) headed Dr. Edna Johnny as president.

Addressing ULFA members at the association just ended General Assembly held in Fendell, Dr. Johnny revealed that the salary disparity payment began since December 2021 and was now in its concluding stages.

The University of Liberia faculty members have been engaging the administration of the UL and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to address series of problems surrounding their salaries and learning environment. Last year, they called on the authorities to among other things, address the salary disparity problem and increase faculty members’ salary.  Following tense negotiations which sometimes led to faculty members abandoning classes, the authorities are now addressing the cardinal ones, according to Dr. Johnny.

“The salary disparity payment which commence in December is now in its concluding stage,” Dr. Johnny announced in her ‘End of 2nd Semester 2021/2022 General Assembly Report’.

Explaining the payment process in detail, she said when ULFA flagged the salary disparity issue, the President then set up a committee to investigate the matter. The committee reported that 212 faculty members were affected, which amounted to about US$500,000.

The finding was disputed by ULFA, and then each faculty member was asked to submit their pay slip.  At the end of process, a total of 242 names were discovered, totaling over US$900,000, she said.

However, a negotiated amount of US700,000 was deposited by the Government in an escrow account following a coordination effort by ULFA, the Human Resource Department of UL, the University’s Business and Finance Office and the MFDP. Out of a total of 347 names submitted to the HR for processing, 28 people were not qualified, and 319 were processed and being paid.

She paid homage to the faculty members for their patience during the process as a result of the bureaucratic bottlenecks that marred it.

She said: “Fellow colleagues, I know there were some delays along the way due to several reasons. All of the various parties had to be present before any work begins. There were also delays in the processing of the checks from the end of MFDP since it has to go through several offices. We also noticed some lapses at the bank. We, however wish to thank you for your patience and endurance. The process has been transparent to the best of our ability. All of the lists the payments and documentations are available at the ULFA office if you have any query”

On salary increment, she said ULFA presented a range of proposed salary and was onward presented to the executive committee by the MFDP which was expected to take effect at the end of January. A meeting was held with the administration and ended with an agreement for the HR to write each faculty member indicating their new salary.

Social Security and Insurance

The ULFA president also informed the assembly that plans are being worked out to collaborate with the UL administration and MFDP officials to pay their arrears owed by UL. She also added that ULFA is working with the University’s administration to complete the vetting of the two shortlisted insurance companies, adding the companies have done their presentations, and it is now left with the faculty and staff to select the one of their choice.

Part of the association’s demand was the renovation and upgrade of the university’s campuses to an acceptable standard. In her report, the ULFA president stated that the administration has committed to kick start the renovation anytime soon. However, she reiterated that the faculty will not return to school until work is done.

In addition to advocating for just benefit and conducive working environment, the association, under the leadership of Dr. Johnny has been instituting several reforms internally. She informed the members that ULFA has adopted a new article of incorporation and obtained a business registration.

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