Against the backdrop of some staffers of the House of Representatives agitating over cuts in their salaries and benefits, House Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, has constituted a special committee to investigate and forward findings within three working days.
In recent times, some staffers of the House of Representatives have been murmuring in the corridors of the Capitol Building about claims of their salaries and benefits been cut. But legislative pundits at the same Capitol Building have divulged that what some staffers at the Legislature may be experiencing is the outcome of the Liberian Government’s adopted policy, in conjunction with the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to harmonize and stabilize the salary grading scheme of all persons on the GOL payroll platform across all three branches of the Liberian Government.
On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, some staffers from the House of Representatives elevated their concerns, when they convened a meeting in the Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building, a mood that attracted the attention and participation of the House’s Co-chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, Nimba County Representative Jeremiah Koung, along with Montserrado County Representative Dixon Seboe in their bid to speak on the clarity and understanding of the Government standardization and harmonization policy doctrine.
During the meeting in the Joint Chambers of the Legislature, both Rep. Koung and Seboe did not reach a reasoning point with the staffers’ concerns, as they (staffers) demanded that they would prefer an action from the Speaker or the Plenary of the House of Representatives, under the stewardship of Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers.
Following the development that ensued from the Joint Chambers meeting, a representative from the Capitol Building workforce, identified as, Benjamin Myers, along with other Capitol Building employees were accompanied by Reps. Koung and Seboe to appeared before the Plenary of the House of Representatives, to acquaint that body with the workers’ concerns.
In his presentation on behalf of the aggrieved staffers, Mr. Myers contended that cuts in their benefits and salaries needed to be spoken about clearly. Myers stated that a resolution signed by both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate clearly states that members of the Legislature and the Judiciary particularly judges shall have 31 percent of their salaries cut, excluding staffers.
According to him, the resolution clearly states that such adjustment shall affect Members of the Legislature, noting that salaries of representatives and senators should be affected, not staffers’ salaries and benefits, as being experienced for the past one year.
Staffers at the Legislature, including the House of Representatives and the Senate, have reported cuts in salaries and benefits after a salary harmonization scheme by the Government. Recently, on the grounds of the Capitol Building, staffers of the Liberian Senate protested against cuts from their salaries and benefits covering a one-calendar-year period.