MONROVIA, Montserrado – Grand Bassa’s Sen. Jonathan Kaipay has asked the Senate to invite Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and the director-general of the Civil Service Agency, Laurine Wede, to explain what he says is a huge salary disparity among government employees.
Kaipay disclosed that he received information revealing a huge wage bill disparity on the government’s payroll with 73,203 civil servants. He said 233 of those employees are presidential appointees receiving a total monthly salary of US$1.05 million for an average of US$4,506 monthly salary.
At the same time, 28,760 government employees receive general allowances amounting to US$13.57 million (an average of US$472 per month), while civil servants constituting 44,210 employees receive US$7.3 million monthly (an average of US$165 per month).
The salary disparities are not surprising, however, given that the Ministries of Education and Health make up a significant amount of the government’s payroll, with approximately 12,000 employees at the Ministry of Health and 18,000 at the Ministry of Education (some of these employees may not be on the payroll yet). Teachers and nurses are among some of the lowest paid skilled professionals in the country.
Kaipay believes that the analysis indicates a huge salary disparity and he wants the two officials to provide concrete reasons for the difference.
“I want the heads of those two institutions [to] appear before this plenary to really address themselves to this huge wage bill disparities that are existing among government employees,” he noted.
He said considering existing economic challenges, President George Weah’s government must be conscious and convincingly commit itself to improve the living standards of the ordinary citizens, as evidence of promoting its Pro-Poor Agenda for Development in the interest of the country.
After the reading of the communication, the senators voted to send the request to the Committee on Autonomous Agencies and the Committee on Ways and Means for review. The committees are expected to revert to the general Senate body within two weeks.
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