Liberia: Judicial Staffers to Protest for Unpaid Salaries

Over nine hundred disenchanted staffers at the Judicial Branch of Government have threatened to stage a protest demanding a refund of their salaries that were allegedly cut unknown to them. The group’s spokesman Leroy Archie Ponpon on Wednesday, 29 July threatened a go-slow or hunger strike if their monies are refunded.

The judicial staffers are making claims of their salaries allegedly being cut at a time lawmakers are also probing some of their colleagues over a potential financial scandal in which Senate staffers are demanding authorities to restore about half million Liberian dollars removed from their pay over time.

Recently, staffers from the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate gathered to demand the Liberian dollars component of their salaries. Their spokesman Charles Brown said it is unlawful for the lawmakers to cut legislative workers' legitimate salaries, insisting that their pay be increased or maintained.

However, the judicial staffers' spokesman Mr. Ponpon, says it has been their understanding that their allowances and Liberian dollars salaries would have been combined as a single spine salary structure which amounted to US$250 dollars. Mr. Ponpon recounts that during the month of October 2019, they were informed that the single salary structure was not to be harmonized.

But he says the policy of harmonization is said to have affected judicial staffers' salaries, thereby leaving them with only allowances.

Mr. Ponpon, a controversial Liberian gay rights advocate narrates that their position under the Civil Service Agency is that they believe that they are entitled to salaries and allowances. He expresses hope that their Liberian dollars salaries will be placed into their accounts before 31 August 2020.

He warns that failure on the part of judicial authorities to meet up with this demand, the affected judicial staffers have decided to act with civility but with protest action such as a go - slow or hunger strike.

He informs Liberia's Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor through a communication that judicial staffers are prepared and waiting on him for a positive reply.

But Mr. Ponpon states that if the Chief Justice fails to address their concerns, they will immediately protest as planned.

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