All the cries of pleas from the Minister of Education and other government officials fell on deaf ears as the Consortium of Civil Servants of Liberia announced that they are set to go on a nation-wide stay-home action across the 15 counties beginning Monday, December 16. The Consortium comprises of six public sector groupings including, National Teachers Association of Liberia, National Health Workers Union of Liberia, Monrovia Consolidated Schools System Teachers’ Association, Supplementary Teachers’ Association of Liberia, Civil Servants Union of Liberia and the Liberia Labor Congress.
The leadership of the Consortium on Thursday, December 12, after a meeting, which was attended by the Minister of Education along with some of his senior officials and representations from other ministries, including Finance and Development Planning, Justice and Information, announced that they were not going to reverse on their decision of calling off their stay-home action. Before they had read their statement to the waiting press, the Education Minister, Prof. Dr. Ansu Sonii, had literally pleaded with them to not go ahead with their decision and to forget about reading their statement.
At one point when it seems he was getting nowhere with the “rhetoric”, as one of the attendees described it to this newspaper, he threw his hands in the air, frustratingly and accused the Consortium’s leadership of trying to put the country in flames.
According to the Minister it would only take one student to steer his friends up to get into the streets as he reminisced the October 15, 2019 Monrovia Consolidated School System’s students’ peaceful protest, which turned violent resulting in most of the kids being hospitalized after police’s heavy handedness.
The Education Minister even called the Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah, on the phone and had him on loudspeaker for him (Tweah) to assure the public workers of their salaries being sure. The Finance Minister’s didn’t sound any pleasant in the ears of those civil servants, who murmured. One of men told newsmen that the Finance Minister is full of scammed talks so he had no pleasure in the assurances that he (Tweah) had given.
It got to a point where the representations of the various aggrieved parties didn’t think they could believe what their government officials were telling them so they decided to go ahead with their announcement to their constituencies. The statement was by Moibah Johnson, President of the Civil Servant Union of Liberia
“The consortium of Civil Servants of Liberia has met, discussed and uncompromisingly resolved that our decision to have a nationwide stay-home action across the fifteen counties of Liberia beginning Monday, December 16, 2019 remains in full force and unchanged. This action comes as a result of the GoL’s failure through the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Education and Labor to have met our demand. We want to state for the record that the consortium has reasonably given ample time to the Government of Liberia to constructively discuss and amicably resolve issues relative to our salaries and other concerns captured in our memorandum entered into between us and the GoL.