CSA Assures Legislative staffers of just benefits
The Civil Service Agency(CSA), has assured staffers of the Legislature that their just outstanding benefits will be paid after the Agency goes through the staffers concerns.
The CSA’s Acting Director General, Mr. D. Francis Wreh, who met with staffers on Capitol Hill yesterday, clarified that the Legislature was not part of the mainstream of the 2019 harmonization program and that the Legislature is considered a separate Branch of the Government.
The meeting, held on the grounds of the Capitol, followed weeks of threats by Legislative staff to stop lawmakers from holding regular sittings until the Liberian Dollar component of their year-long outstanding salary was paid.
Yesterday’s meeting came on the heels of an expected report from the special Senatorial committee appointed by the Senate Leadership recently, to investigate the staffers’ financial grievances.
Mr. Wreh told the gathering that the main focus of the harmonization exercise, which is yet to be completed, was on the Executive Branch of government, “while all technical work to include the Legislature was left with its Leadership.”
Mr. Wreh urged the aggrieved works to remain calm, further assuring them that the Legislature and CSA will work assiduously to find amicable solution to the problem, adding that the CSA has been furnished with records of all employees which, he said, will be used to work on the technical details to endeavor and/or discover where the problem with the Senate staffers is.
“The truth of the matter is, when we did the harmonization, our focus was on the Executive. We didn’t want to interfere with the Legislature, because it was a separate Branch. So that portion was delegated to the Legislative branch to carry out,” the CSA acting boss explained.
He further disclosed that the Legislature’s budget in terms of compensation, before the harmonization, was US$29 million. “After the entire harmonization, for us to bring the wage bill from US$327 million to US$297 million, part of the concession and negotiation between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary, the Legislature wage came from US$29 million to US$25 million. When it was reduced to US$25 million, we didn’t have the entire listing to determine how much each worker earns.”
Wreh maintained that the Vice President’s recent statement that the Legislature has not been harmonized to the level of the Executive was true.