Authorities of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL), say its attention has been drawn to a sub-banner headline published in the FrontPage Africa Thursday, April 4, 2019 edition, captioned: “Liberia: Redundant Public Health Institute Staffs Demand Arrears.”
“NPHIL wishes to clarify that on Friday, February 15, 2019, 17 staff of the Emergency Medical Service Center (EMS) of the NPHIL were redundant in keeping with the Decent Work Act of 2015,” the organization said in a statement. “The redundant staff were contracted to provide services on behalf of the Institute in various capacities. They were initially contracted during the 2014 unprecedented Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, a period when NPHIL was not in existence.”
NPHIL says the redundant staffs were jointly compensated by the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Response Support and the Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) Project, funded by the Government of the United States, through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“On Monday, February 18, 2019, all contractors were paid arrears owed by the WHO Emergency Response Support in keeping with the Decent Work Act,” the statement said.
So far, there is an outstanding of three months (October, November and December 2018) of contractual arrears from the Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) Project. “This fund was made available periodically and the payment (US$547.32 per staff) for the period under review will be credited to individual accounts on or before April 15, 2019. This information was communicated to the redundant staff, who have accepted the deadline as indicated on their payment slips for arrears paid on behalf of the WHO Emergency Response support,” a release said.
The release added, “however, the NPHIL hereby clarifies that no redundant staff was issued an employment as per the CoAg Project and, as such, demand for severance and annual leave pay as claimed by Samuel Babajuah is far from the truth. All other arrears for the WHO Emergency Response Project have been paid to all redundant staff.”
“Meanwhile, it is important to establish that the period Babajuah claimed he had worked for the Institute is totally erroneous. NPHIL, as an Institute, came into existence on January, 2017, during the EVD outbreak; the system was run by the Emergency Management Team, and not NPHIL,” the statement said.
The management of NPHIL said it values the work of its employees and does things in compliance with the Decent Work Act.