Senate Pro-tempore M. Gbehzongar Findley
Health Workers Reject Senate’s Appeal
By Hilary Vasco Wiagbe
MONROVIA, Feb 22 (LINA) - Members of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia have rejected an appeal by the Liberian Senate to end their strike action and return to work.
The health workers said unless their demands are met, they will continue the strike action which started on Monday, February 17, across the country.
According to the Liberia News Agency, they took the decision Thursday during a two-hour meeting with a team of Senators headed by the President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, M. Gbehzongar Findley, in the Joint Chambers of the National Legislature.
The workers are demanding the reinstatement of about 24 of their colleagues dismissed by Health Ministry authorities, payment of their salaries and incentives for the months of January and February, salary increment and the signing of a memorandum of understanding that participants would not be dismissed at the end of the strike action.
The Senators assured the health workers that they will ensure that their demands are met, once they agree to end the strike action and go back to work.
They told the health workers it was not possible to negotiate with health authorities and other relevant ministries and agencies of government to address their concerns in the midst of the strike action.
But, the workers maintained that their demands must be met before they go back to work, because the senate gave them similar assurance in 2013, but failed to deliver.
They explained that when they went on strike in 2013 in demand of salary increment and improved working conditions, the Senate constituted a committee chaired by Senator Armah Jallah that prevailed on them to end the strike and gave them similar assurance.
According to them, the Senate is yet to actualize the assurance, thereby making them to continue to work and live under the same deplorable conditions.