10 December 2012

Liberia: Civil Servants to Finally Smile

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has disclosed that plans to improve the salaries of civil servants have almost been concluded. President Sirleaf said such plans will take effect after the festive season.

She made the disclosure last Thursday during a meeting with the leadership of the Teachers Association of the Monrovia Consolidated School System or MCSS at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.

An Executive Mansion release quoted the President as renewing her support to public school teachers, especially those working in the public sector, in addressing their concerns.

She also noted that the government has begun working out the modalities for the supply of water and electricity to public schools as part of efforts in addressing some of the concerns earlier raised by teachers. She encouraged the teachers to always exercise patience as government works to improve their living standards.

The President used the meeting to hand over the keys to a bus she personally repaired for the MCSS. The bus had not been operating for nearly three months, and had created difficulties for teachers in getting to class on time.

In October, President Sirleaf intervened in a teacher "go-slow" action that left classrooms empty for nearly two weeks, prompting students to take to the streets in protest.

The President of the MCSS Council, Madam Ollie White, thanked the President for making teachers a top priority in administering Liberia, and described her intervention as a demonstration of motherliness.

She also thanked the teachers for being patient as the President sought redress to their concerns, and she hoped that the patience, respect for authority and cooperation recently exhibited would always be the hallmark of their advocacy.

Speaking on behalf of the teachers, the President of the Association, Benedict S. Wreh, welcomed the initiative of President Sirleaf to supply water and electricity and rehabilitate school laboratories.

He said the initiative would directly benefit the students, and went beyond just advocating for salary increments. The MCSS teachers' leadership requested the President to meet with them to discuss education matters, to which the President consented.

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