The National Steering Committee on the Act Creating the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Liberia Revenue Authority, has assured aggrieved workers of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, respectively that no employee would be thrown out "in the street" as a consequence of the pending reform exercise.
In a joint meeting with the workforce on September 11, Finance Minister Amara Konneh, explained the reform initiative and steps being taken to address personnel grievances, assuring, "We will make sure that all employees are taken care of. There is a roadmap for it that makes sense."
Minister Konneh along with Dr. Amos Sawyer, Chairman of the Governance Commission and George Werner, Director General of the Civil Service Agency addressed employees of the Ministry on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
He said the planned merger takes into consideration the plights of employees of both ministries, and clarified that no employee would be unnecessarily redundant, while further assuring that the merger process is not intended to take people out of government, as government has put in place mechanisms to ensure employees receive their legitimate benefits in consonance with the civil service laws of Liberia.
The Finance boss disclosed that the merger committee is currently assessing the skills and qualifications of employees for consideration in positions that commiserate with their status after the merger process is concluded.
For his part, the Director General of the Civil Service Agency, George Werner, disclosed that his agency will ensure the rights of civil servants at the two ministries are protected under the law during the merger process, which according to him, would be implemented in four distinct phases.
He said phase one of the process will focus on retirees, employees, who have served government for 25years and above or have reached the age of 65 and above as first step leading to the merger. Werner hinted that phase two will focus on encouraging employees to transition from public to private service through a voluntary retirement scheme with attractive benefits attached.
He said phase three of the exercise will focus on contractors, whose tenures are guaranteed till the end of their contracts. The CSA boss further noted that phase four of the merger process will focus on the redirection of employees to positions in other ministries and agencies where their skills are most needed.
Also addressing the employees, Dr. Amos Sawyer of the Governance Commission said the merger is part of government's efforts to decentralize governance functions throughout the country to enable citizens to return to their respective counties with jobs.
Dr. Sawyer added that the pending merger is also intended to eliminate duplication of functions in government to ensure a sizable and affective public service work force.