NAHWUL to Elect New Officers

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Joseph Tamba, outgoing President of the Health Workers Union

After an intense standoff with the Walter Gwenigale leadership at the Ministry of Health (MOH) that almost stalled normal activities of the health sector, especially during the height of the Ebola outbreak, the newly minted National Health Workers Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) is set to elect a new leadership.

Many health workers from throughout the country will attend a day-long convention next month in Suakoko, Bong County to decide who takes the mantle of authority for the Union.

The election of the new corps of officers, according to a release signed by the Chairman of NAHWUL’s election commission, Jerry Kollie, will be held on September 9, at the Phebe Hospital, Bong County. “The current leadership did well for us, advocating on our behalf to ensure that the right things are done. But their tenure has come to an end, and therefore, we need a new group to steer the affairs of this important organization.

“We want our members to get involved in this exercise so that whatever comes out of Suakoko will be the collective voice of health workers in the country,” Mr. Kollie said. The 2017 convention committee wants to inform all health workers and the  public about NAHWUL’s  upcoming elections in an effort to have a transparent election, said Kollie.

All positions of the union ranging from president, vice presidents for administration,  professional ethics and operations, secretary general, assistant secretary general, financial secretary, treasurer and chaplain are opened for any member to apply, Kollie added.

“We want all of our members who are interested in any of these positions to submit a letter of application with the position of interest clearly indicated, current CV with three references, two passport size photos, one hanging folder and a non-refundable fee. The non-refundable fees range from of L$2000 for president, L$1800 for vice president for administration, L$1800 for vice president for professional ethics and operations, L$1600 for secretary general, L$1400 for assistant secretary general, L$1200 for financial secretary, L$1000 for treasurer, L$800 for chaplain,” Kollie said.

There are, however, many criteria set forth by the election commission for all of the elective posts. According to Kollie, for anyone to be eligible to contest for any of the elected positions, that person must be an employee in the health sector; be 25 years of age or above; must be a high school graduate or above; be a Liberian citizen by birth.

The release further states that the applicants must not be a presidential appointee in the health sector or his/her deputy. “Anyone willing to contest must have worked in the health sector for at least 5 years; must be a domicile of Montserrado County; must be a registered and active member in moral standing with the institution,” Kollie said.

“Application began yesterday, August 16, and ends on Monday, August 28, while revision of applications will be on August 29 and 30, followed by the publication of qualified and eligible candidate listing that will be on Thursday, August 31. Campaign starts on Friday,  September 1.”

NAHWUL’s embattled president, Joseph Tamba, and the secretary general, George Poe Williams, were at the center of the fracas with Minister Gwenigale. They were suspended indefinitely by the government.

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