Liberia: Government Denies Owing C. H. Rennie Workers 30 Months’ Salary Arrears; Promises Permanent Employment for Volunteers
KAKATA, Margibi County – The Government of Liberia, through the Civil Service Agency (CSA), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) says it does not owe health workers of the C. H. Rennie Hospital who staged a protest Monday over ‘unpaid salaries.
Chanting ‘no work, no pay, the over 40 health workers barricaded the main gate to the hospital to protest against what they said was the government’s inability to pay their outstanding 30 months’ salary arrears. The protesting health workers also said they have been serving as volunteers at the hospital for over five years without receiving a penny from the government.
But the government Tuesday clarified that those protesting workers at the hospital are not full employees of the government but non-clinical volunteers who are paid from internally generated resources at their health facilities.
“These volunteers are usually absorbed and get fully employed through the Government t of Liberia direct job replacement policy and strategy once vacancies are created in their facilities and other entities of government,” the government said in a release.
The government said as part of its engagement with Consortium of Public Sector Workers, through the Civil Service Agency, is currently reviewing and restructuring the volunteering policy across the health and education sectors and wants to encourage and reassure volunteers that permanent employment and subsequent placement on the GoL payroll would be prioritized during the upcoming recruitment from the volunteer pool.
The Government of Liberia also wants to reiterate that it is through constructive engagements, not protests, that these policy changes and developments are obtained.
Assigned by government, no pay
FrontPageAfrica has in its possession letters of assignment to health workers of the hospital by the Human Resource Officer of the Margibi County Health Team dated 2016.
According to Mayango Jallah, head of the aggrieved health workers, for too long they have been promised employment by the government but nothing has taken effect. ‘We are tired of sacrificing for years without being employed by the government. Our children are being sent out of school, we can’t pay our bills. We can’t bear it any longer,’ he said.
Jallah said the protest would continue if the government refused to hear their pleas. ‘It’s just a matter if time for us to resume our protest. This time around we won’t rest until we’re employed by the government. We’re rendering more sacrifice and need to be rewarded,’ he said.