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New CSAL Head Promises To Partner With Govt. Thru Dialogue
MONROVIA, March 6 (LINA) - A mid-level employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Moibah Keller Johnson, has been inducted into office as the president of the Civil Servants’ Association of Liberia (CSAL) following elections on December 9, 2016.
Mr. Johnson’s ascendency to this post makes him and his corps of officers, the first group of leaders to be elected by members of the Association since it was founded in 2003.
Before now, the association, which main aim is to advocate for improvement in the welfare of civil servants in the country, had been headed by interim bodies.
Other CSAL leaders inducted into office included Mrs. Massa Fofana Johnson, Vice President for Administration; Mr. Ballah D. Hubbard, 2nd Vice President; Mr. Alfred Tokpah, Vice President for Planning and Policy; and Mr. Joseph A. Farkollie, Secretary-General.
Others are Ms. Henrietta Summerbee, Financial Secretary; Ms. Smarthleen N. Sharba, Treasurer; Rev. James N. Cooper, Chaplain; and Mr. Emmanuel Quoiquoi, Jr., Parliamentarian
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the CSAL’s president, delivering his inaugural address, appealed to the National Legislature to harmonize the two labor laws currently governing the work force.
He indicated that the CSAL leadership will shortly engage both Houses of the National Legislature to have the two laws, which he termed a “national embarrassment” within the labor sector harmonized.
Mr. Johnson appealed to Government to afford employment opportunities to individuals who for many years have been rendering invaluable services to Liberia at various ministries and agencies and are not yet on the Government of Liberia payroll.
He recommended to Government that the Civil Service Agency(CSA) revises its current Civil Service Regulations to reflect current realities; revisit the current pension scheme to reflect true labor value; that the government increases the retirement benefits for civil servants to make it more attractive to retire early; that Government reintroduces the Legal Power of Attorney (LPA) scheme to enable civil servants own real properties; and that the CSA allows at least three civil servants serve on the Grievance and Ethics Panel at the Agency.
The new CSAL president praised the efforts of Mr. Jefferson Elliot and others who established the Association in 2003 to articulate the views and issues confronting the thousands of civil servants in Liberia.
Mr. Johnson assured civil servants that as he will execute the mandate of his office to the best of his ability with God being his helper and promised to forge partnership with the Government using dialogue as a major tool to improve their collective well-being.
Johnson thanked the Government for making current the payment of civil servants’ salary and raising basic monthly salaries from mere US$15 or its equivalent to at least US$125.00.
Speaking earlier, former Labor Minister Cllr. Taiwon S. Gongloe urged the new leadership to devote more time to service; emphasizing that “a happy civil servant is a productive civil servant.”
The rights advocate, in his keynote address, though praising President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration for raising civil servants’ salary considerably, however, said the costs of goods and services now-a-days make it very difficult for their salaries to meet their living expenses.
Highlighting the disparity in salaries of civil servants and some government officials, Cllr. Gongloe said fair compensation can be used as motivation for civil servants, adding that children will only run to their fathers and mothers when they have something to bring to them.
He stressed that civil servants need a situation where they can be civil servants at the entry level and the system should reward discipline, hard work and commitment, adding, “Everyone should be humble to be taught by the civil service”.
Cllr. Gongloe also encouraged civil servants to go out and register to be qualified to vote in the upcoming presidential and legislative elections as failure to do so will make them lose the opportunity to determine the future of the country.
“That is the most important right that you should exercise now; it is also a (civil) duty as a citizen,” he reiterated.
In his remarks on behalf of the CSA, Mr. Alfred Dosea said that the task ahead of CSAL’s new corps of officers is enormous and challenging and it’s expected that they will exhibit professionalism in their endeavors and adhere to the values of the Civil Service Agency and their association.