Liberia: Health Workers' Strike Imminent

19 September 2019
press release

The National Health Workers' Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) has announced here that as of 12 a.m. on Monday, 23 September, health workers in the public sector will be laying down their tools until government can meet their concerns.

Through a press release issued in Monrovia Wednesday, 18 September under the signature of NAHWUL Secretary General George Poe Williams, the health workers demand increment of budgetary allotment for the health sector to provide adequate medical and laboratory supplies plus other logistics for health facilities across the country.

NAHWUL also seeks increment in health workers' salaries across the country and complete payment of all their salaries owed by government.The statement specifically demands payment of the salaries, incentives and all other benefits of the group's president Mr. Joseph S. Tamba and its Secretary General Mr. Williams.

As part of the issues they want government to address, the health workers demand the implementation of Senator Jallah's Committee's recommendation and the inclusion of NAHWUL in Social Dialogue in all work related matters within the health sector.NAHWUL accuses government of downplaying health workers' concerns that were announced since 3 September 2019, a situation that the Union says has left many health workers' children to remain out of school.

According to NAHWUL, several health workers have not been paid their monthly salaries and incentives since February this year in addition to other outstanding matters.NAHWUL is lamenting the cost of living which it says has tripled since 2011 in the midst of high infliction "which has devalued the dying wages we earn."

According to NAHWUL, since the disbursement of salaries for the month of July 2019 started on August 19, 2019, many health workers are yet to receive any of their salaries, while others have gotten a fragment of their salaries.NAHWUL notes that others have taken full payment only in Liberian dollars, contrary to the much publicized 65% USD and 35% LRD [payment scheme].

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