LIBERIA: Over 5 Months of Salary Arrears ULFA vows to halt Academic Activities, As UL Administration seeks Amicable Solution
The leadership of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) has strongly called on the UL Administration halt the resumption of academic activities until their five-count plights are fully addressed.
In a release issued Thursday, January 25, 2024, by the Secretariat, the ULFA leadership wants the administration to settle the arrears owed all part-time lecturers of the association and institute reforms of payment for part-time colleagues as agreed within the existing Memorandum of Understanding.
ULFA also called on the state-run university headed by its President Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson to complete the signing of all part-time contracts before the commencement of any academic activities, which should have begun on January 31, 2024, as enshrined in the UL academic calendar.
The release emphasized that the ULFA leadership led by the President Dr. Edna Johnny shall not return to class until the UL Administration refunds all monies deducted from employees for insurance while the scheme is suspended.
It further pressed on the UL Administration to live up to the full implementation of the October 1, 2021, MoU.
In the press statement, the leadership expressed dissatisfaction over the delay of the school administration to pay the part-time lecturers amid the many challenges confronting the teaching profession especially at the state-run university across the country.
Accordingly, the UL Administration and the Ministry of Finance and Development-Planning reached out to the leadership of ULFA pleading for time and committing to pay their colleagues beginning Monday January 15, 2024.
The statement recounted that while the ULFA leadership was uncomfortable with this commitment, in the interest of cordiality at the UL, it appealed to part-time colleagues to exercise restraint during the period.
“Disappointingly, they did not leave up to their commitment to settle the arrears of our colleagues as promised leaving a doubt as to when our colleagues will get paid. Painfully at the same time, the UL Administration is finalizing plans to begin academic activities for the second semester on January 31, 2024, without any clear pathway on the settlement of the arrears of our colleagues,” the ULFA release noted.
At the same time, ULFA disclosed that the UL Administration deducts money from its members’ salaries for insurance when the insurance scheme has been abandoned by the service provider “ACTIVA” due to the failure of the UL Business and Finance Office (BFO) to remit said payments to ACTIVA thus subjecting our professional esteem to humiliation at health facilities.
“Wherefore, the leadership of ULFA sees these actions as not only a total disregard for the welfare of our faculty colleagues by subjecting them and their families to untold harsh economic conditions but also undermining the quality of teaching and learning,” ULFA stressed.
However, it can be recalled that the ULFA leadership issued a previous statement threatening to take unspecified actions if the UL Administration had failed to address their issues.
In response to such threat, the Vice President for the UL Relations, Cllr. Norris Tweah alluded to the issues raised by ULFA when appeared on OK FM in Monrovia and stated that the university was working out all modalities to have the matter resolved amicably.