Teachers of the University of Liberia are expected to drop their chalks for gross cut in their salaries by administration, a situation that some students of the University said may provoke mass student action that will bring down pressure on the administration of the institution to act in the interest of returning the faculty into the class room.
Some faculty staff of the University of Liberia have hinted that all members of the faculty are expected to assemble today at the Fendell Campus of the UL to discuss the manner in which their salaries are being cut by government and other burning instructional issues.
The UL faculty members indicated that the UL administration has instituted huge cut that could amount to almost 50% of their salaries in both the Liberian and US dollars components to support the tuition free scheme at the University announced by President George Manneh Weah at the inception of regime of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“The deduction is too high; can you imagine for instance that of $300,000 LD component of a faculty’s salary, less than $200,000 LD is given while the same is effected in the USD component of the faculty’s salaries based on the ranges? This is too much: we as faculty members should not be the ones to underwrite the government’s free tuition policy at the UL,” a faculty staff who begged for anonymity disclosed to the ANALYST.
Traditionally and from time in memorial, the UL students usually stage defiant uninterrupted mass student strike actions which are usually bloody at the instance of the refusal of faculty staff and instructors to teach due to salary delay or otherwise, thereby other protest by teaching staff.
Since the Samuel Doe regime, to that of Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administrations, the UL students have never compromised on identifying with their teachers and other instructional staff to ensure that they return to the class room.
The precedence by students of the national premier higher institution of learning has resonated amongst other public and private institutions, including junior, senior schools and other tertiary educational institution.
Just yesterday, students of the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) staged a bloody protest characterized by strife between state security forces and the students. Many students were reported wounded, although The ANALYST is yet to capture police casualties.
The protest by the MCSS students came as a result of a boycott action by the teachers of the MCSS teachers’ Association (MCSSA) in protest of salary delay by the government.
Teachers of the Monrovia Consolidated School System have dropped chalks in demand of their two-month salaries arrears and other benefits.
The President of the MCSSTA, Mr. Veto V. Garway, said the action is a result of defer payment of the salaries and benefits of more than 1, 237 employees of the MCSS for the months of August and September 2019.
Mr. Garway told a group of reporters yesterday, Monday, in Monrovia that MCSSTA has been having series of meetings with the government of Liberia concerning the issues of their salaries, insurance and other benefits without any attention to address their situation.
He narrated that the government is deducting money from their salaries for insurance which they understand the government is not paying to the insurance company which they did not disclosed.
Consequent to this, Mr. Garway said the teachers are not receiving treatment that they are entitled to at health facilities identified to them, saying that 100 of the MCSS employees did not receive their salaries for July and August of this year, a situation which he said prompted the decision by teachers.
Few months ago, similar strike was carried out in Maryland County when students of the William V. S. Tubman University stage a protest making some other demands.
The boycott of classes by teachers and instructional staff of institutions have always being a source of violence. “The Government must intervene now to avoid the pending mass students’ action at the University of Liberia,” Robert Jallah who said he is a student said. Other students who spoke to the ANALYST on the basis of anonymity said the government should be the one to underwrite the free tuition policy through budgetary allotments, and not the faculty.
Although the UL authorities could not be reach, a member of the UL presidency, the phone of Prof. Weade Kobbah Boley who was contacted rang endlessly without answer. Investigation into the salary cut allegation continues into allegation by some faculty staff members made on the basis of anonymity.