The Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) wants to state categorically that the salary saga at the Ministry involving some employees which led to a protest action last week, is not the making of the ministry’s senior management team. It is rather the result of a long-standing salary disparity with MICAT’s Payroll.
This disparity was not adequately addressed when the harmonization process took place, especially for those who were already earning below the established GOL salary threshold.
MICAT wants to make it clear that the Ministry is not clothed with the authority of increasing salaries, as such is squarely within the purview of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency.
The Ministry empathizes with the aggrieved employees and wants to make it known that many administrative efforts have been made over the last several months by the Senior Management Team of MICAT, through regular engagements with authorities of both the MFDP and CSA, to address the salary disparity with assurances from these two entities that the situation would be addressed on a holistic basis since it is not unique to MICAT.
The Authorities at MICAT have gone at great lengths to explain to the affected employees to remain patient while the matter was being looked into by MFDP and CSA, but the employees chose to protest.
On Monday, November 14, the MFDP through its Executive Director of the Liberia Macroeconomic Policy Analysis Center, Hon. Del-Francis Wreh, responsible to handle such matters, met with the aggrieved employees to explain to them the efforts being made by the government through the MFDP to address concerns about “low salary” of some government employees.
Regarding the claim of ghost names saturating the payroll, it is worth noting that the General Auditing Commission conducted a few months ago, a comprehensive audit of the MICAT Payroll which included a physical headcount of each of the current employees at the ministry, including Presidential Appointees. It is therefore shocking that such a claim is being made. However, MICAT Senior Management Team would welcome evidence to validate such an allegation and remains open to any other audit of the payroll.
MICAT Senior Management Team is again renewing its appeal to the aggrieved employees to exercise patience as the MFDP and CSA gradually address their concerns.