Lofa County Representative Clarence Massaquoi
Lawmaker Seeks Executive Partnership Over Health Workers Crisis
B y Hilary Vasco Wiagbe/JKW
MONROVIA, October 14(LINA) -Lofa County Representative Clarence Massaquoi has underscored the need for the House of Representatives to work closely with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the health ministry to reinstate sacked officials of the Health Worker Association of Liberia.
Massaquoi emphasized that it was prudent for the two Branches of Government to work together in the spirit of proper coordination to put the issue to rest so that health workers will refrain from go-slow actions and focus on tackling the Ebola virus.
The Liberia News Agency (LINA) reports that the Lofa County Representative’s statement was contained in a letter to Speaker J. Alexander Tyler and read in the extraordinary session of the House on Tuesday, October 14, by Chief Clerk, Mildred Sayon.
After the reading of the communication, the 38 Lawmakers that attended the Session overwhelmingly discussed it and forwarded same to the Leadership of the House with the mandate to hold discussion with the President on the issue and report to Plenary in a non-specified period.
It can be recalled that health workers instituted two separate ‘Go-Slow’ actions in July 2013 and March 2014, which paralyzed the health sector in demand for salary increment, better working conditions and repayment of monies reportedly cut from their salaries by Health Ministry authorities.
During the ‘Go-Slow’, Health Ministry authorities dismissed 20 health workers, including the President of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia, Joseph Tamba and Secretary General George Williams.
The health workers insisted on continuing the ‘Go-Slow’ until their demands were met and their leaders reinstated, but based on the intervention of the National Legislature, they agreed to end the strike.
Despite the agreement between the health workers on one hand and the Health authorities and lawmakers on the other hand, the Leadership of the Association is yet to be reinstated, a situation that has triggered looming ‘Go-Slow ‘action across the country.