Liberia: Civil Servants Cry For Pay

Civil Servants across the country have begun requesting for salary arrears and other fringe benefits owed them by government.

They told our reporters on tour of several ministries and agencies yesterday, that they had not taken pay for more than two months now a situation blamed on delay in the passage of the 2006/2007 national budget by the National Legislature.

Scores of employees of the Education, Foreign Affairs, and Health Ministries including those of other agencies said government was indebted to them for the months of June and July saying, and now August is being added, and there was no sign of payment yet.

The civil servants said that they were finding it increasingly difficult to attend to their children's education this academic year due to the delay of the government to pay them.

A government school teacher said she has six children to cater for their educational needs and if nothing was done immediately to pay salaries; she would be constrained to send the kids to her grand parents in the interior.

Other government workers told this paper, over the weekend that this was the first in the history of civil servants that government did not pay salaries for the July 26 Independence Day commemoration.

Several government health workers from Grand Kru County disclosed that since the inauguration of President Sirleaf, they have not taken pay.

The health workers noted that most of their colleagues have abandoned their assignments and were now seeking employment with private entities and non governmental organizations to be able to sustain themselves.

Reports from Gbarpolu County, said the county authority has begun recruiting teachers from neighboring Sierra Leone for this academic year because qualified Liberians were refusing to teach due to lack of remuneration.

The story is the same in other counties where professional teachers have completely abandoned the job, giving rooms for unqualified individuals including high school drop-outs to take over the educational system in those areas.

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