‘WE WANT OUR PAY’: Recruited Teachers Protest GOL’s Failure to Pay Salary Arears


07/24/2010 – M. Welemongai Ciapha, II

Source: FrontPage Africa

PROTESTING FOR PAY: The aggrieved teachers began their street protest at the Isaac Davis School situated at the ELWA Junction and later extended the demonstration to the SKD Boulevard, where officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) clashed with the protesters by using rattan whip to disperse the crowds.

Monrovia –

What appears to be a peaceful 163rd Independence Day Anniversary celebration for Liberians as well as President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is celebrating the day in Sanniquellie, Nimba County turned bitter on Friday, when several thousands of recruited teachers took to the streets of Monrovia in protest of four months’ salary arrears, allegedly owed them by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Spokesman Duncan alleged that it seems as though the Minister of Education, E. Othello Gongar and some of his principal deputies at the MOE have done something ‘fishy’ to delay the payment of the teachers.

The aggrieved teachers began their street protest at the Isaac Davis School situated at the ELWA Junction and later extended the demonstration to the SKD Boulevard, where officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) clashed with the protesters by using rattan whip to disperse the crowds.

As a result of the demonstration, the already congested traffic at the ELWA Junction came to a standstill for several hours.

A spokesman of the teachers, P. Eric Duncan told FrontPage Africa that officials of the Education Ministry have been given ‘false promises’ until the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), decided opening accounts of US$ 4million for the teachers at the Ecobank.

Spokesman Duncan alleged that it seems as though the Minister of Education, E. Othello Gongar and some of his principal deputies at the MOE have done something ‘fishy’ to delay the payment of the teachers.

“We want our pay, we want our pay, so that we can enjoy the 26 with our family like President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf too in Nimba with her cabinet ministers,” the aggrieved teachers shouted in the hot sun as they march with placards and banners of all sorts.

Following several encounters with police at Congo Town back road, the teachers changed their tactics of engagement and decided to on board taxi cabs so as to back pass the police confrontation to go to the MOE on Broad Street.

Following several encounters with police at Congo Town back road, the teachers changed their tactics of engagement and decided to on board taxi cabs so as to back pass the police confrontation to go to the MOE on Broad Street.

A police officer with a rattan whip in his hand at the Congo Town Back road junction, shield and baton on his side, warned the teachers to halt their action because, he said, under the law it was unconstitutional on grounds that the protesters never obtained a permit from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), prior to the protest.

It can be recalled that on Thursday night, Ms. Massa Washington, one of the commissioners of the TRC, walked into the Congo Town offices of FrontPage Africa and complained about similar behavior on the part of officials at the Ministry of Finance of denying them their salary checks ahead of the country’s festive season.

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