STAND Calls On Boakai-led Govt. To Halt Layoffs of 40,000 civil servants

MONROVIA: The Movement Solidarity and Trust for a New Day (STAND) says it is deeply troubled by a Circular issued by the Civil Service Agency (CSA) on April 1, 2024, which appears to cast uncertainty over the employment status of over 40,000 employees under the guise of “Employment status regularization”.

Of greater concern to STAND is the announcement that this exercise will specifically target 40,000 Liberian citizens employed between 2019 and 2023, raising fears of a witch-hunt against individuals who secured employment during the period of CDC governance.

Given recent mass dismissals at the Ministry of State and other government agencies, specifically targeting those employed between 2018 and 2023, STAND says it is burdened by the potential backlash that could destabilize governance.

In a press statement issued yesterday, STAND noted that the actions were not only ill-timed but also detrimental to Liberia’s peace, stability, and national security interests.

“Guided by our dedication to champion the rights of all Liberians, irrespective of political allegiance, and our patriotic obligation to contribute to the success of the current government, STAND calls upon the Boakai-led Administration to abstain from politically motivated witch-hunts that could plunge the nation into chaos,” the civil society group emphasized.

STAND insists that while it acknowledges President Boakai’s right to institute government reforms as a means to improve government effectiveness and foster growth, it believes such a model can only flourish alongside a vibrant and proper accountability of the whole government, not a particular group.

While urging the government to halt this crisis-driven policy of mass layoffs, STAND emphasized the importance of addressing policy gaps  in government to  create an environment that promotes economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.

The suggestion to eliminate thousands of Liberian jobs under the guise of “employment status regularization” is not only insensitive but also unprecedented, the group further asserts, adding: “It particularly singles out the governing period of a specific political party, despite the fact that the perceived issue existed long before the period from 2019 to 2023 that the exercise is addressing.”

The group asserts that irrespective of their political leanings, these civil servants are solely working to support their families, and it would be unfair for them to suffer due to political disagreements.

“Therefore, STAND calls on President Boakai to immediately halt or call for a review of this exercise to eliminate the perception of witch-hunt as it is widely perceived in the general public,” the press statement said. “Additionally, STAND urges the National Legislature to closely monitor this situation and take immediate action to prevent a potential national disaster that would happen if these plans are implemented.”

Meanwhile, STAND has reassured the 40,000 Liberian civil servants of its steadfast dedication to employing all necessary civil and legal measures, as stipulated in the Liberian Constitution, to prevent the proposed layoffs orchestrated by the CSA from coming to fruition.

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