MONROVIA, Sept. 18 (LINA) – The Judiciary says it acknowledges the concerns of its employees regarding cuts in their salaries by the Government of Liberia under the program of Harmonization and Standardization which took effect about a year ago.
A statement issued by the branch of government said when the matter was first raised with the Chief Justice, he set up a committee to listen to the concerns of the employees with the view of providing appropriate explanations.
The statement noted that while this was being done, some of the employees resulted to protest actions prompting a meeting of the employees with the Full Bench of the Supreme Court.
At that meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency, explanations were provided by the representative of the Ministry of Finance regarding the salary cuts.
The employees were especially informed that the cuts in salaries were not done by the Judiciary and that the cuts affected all employees in the Government sector.
The statement pointed out that following these interactions, the Chief Justice asked the employees to designate representatives to engage with the team from the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service Agency, as well as the Judiciary to have a full understanding of the impact of the harmonization process on the salaries of the employees.
The group could seek the way forward in easing the financial burden occasioned by the salary cuts, the statement indicated.
It said the Judiciary takes note of the appearance of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, on Radio Okay FM on Tuesday, September 15, at which time he expressed Government’s concern of the impact of the harmonization program on civil servants and committed that the Ministry of Finance was doing everything possible to address the issue.
“Despite these efforts being made by both the Judiciary and authorities of the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency, some employees of the Judiciary continue to stage sporadic protest actions, particularly targeting the Chief Justice and disrupting court proceedings,” the statement noted.
It said: “Information is that these employees intend to disrupt the ensuing opening of the Civil Law Court. The Judiciary is a neutral ground where party litigants go to seek remedy within the ambit of the law.
“Protests, demonstration, and strike actions, etc., disrupt court processes and deprive party litigants of unhindered right of access to justice; these are in violation of law and cannot be allowed to continue,” the Judiciary stressed.
The statement maintained that as the Judiciary remains engaged with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in finding a possible solution which will inure to their benefit, “we call on the employees to exercise patience and refrain from actions that will disrupt judicial processes.”