KAKATA, Margibi County – Some teachers at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County, chalked up unpaid salaries, saying they would not receive salary increases.
The latest slowing action comes on the day students were due to start writing their first semester midterm exams.
The aggrieved teachers in a one-page communication dated January 19, 2022, addressed to the president of the School Workers’ Union, said their action was prompted by the Liberian government’s statement that it had failed to respond. to their demands for a pay rise after the government wage harmonization exercise some three years ago.
“Around the same time last year, on January 25, 2021, BWI workers, through the president of the union, wrote to Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Samuel D. Tweh, Jr. and have copied the BWI Board of Governors and Director regarding the request for a salary increase for all the stated reasons that prompted such request,” the BWI teachers added. aggrieved,” said one teacher.
The aggrieved teachers revealed that although the school is one of the best TVET institutions in Liberia, the teachers’ monthly salaries are well below $300, noting that this amount is the stipulated amount for holders of a BSC and a Masters.
The teachers said that they had previously informed the Minister of Finance in their previous communication about the low salary they (the teachers) receive despite their daily commitment compared to the teachers of other government institutions below the level of the institution .
They revealed that following their request for a pay rise, the general manager and principal of the school, Atty. Harris Fomba Tarnue, said former Booker Washington Institute Workers Union President Foday K. Rogers and other concerned representatives have repeatedly sued the school’s payroll for a possible pay raise, but it didn’t. has not yet been updated.
“The fact that our wages continue to fall on a monthly basis instead of rising indicates the reluctance or unwillingness of the government to address our plight and if nothing is done until the passage of the 2022 fiscal budgets, l effort of employees to seek an increase in their salaries will become a problem. In this regard, we workers are very unhappy and are writing to inform you of our action to disengage from all work activities until the government can remedy our wage situation.
The aggrieved teachers said their latest slow action was necessary because the BWI is no longer an autonomous institution, but under government oversight, which has now necessitated their direct engagement with the government of Liberia.
They believed that their action of laying down chalks would draw the government’s attention to harmonizing their salaries according to their qualifications and length of service on a daily basis according to the grade level of the BWI, in particular as a technical professional establishment.
Meanwhile, several teachers in the business section of the Booker Washington Institute have told FPA they intend to join their colleagues in the indefinite and slow-moving action at the school this week, similarly demanding pay rises.