Executive Mansion Reacts to Misrepresentation of President Sirleaf's Statement at LU

Tuesday, 19th June 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - The Office of the Press Secretary to the President is surprised, about the deliberate misrepresentation of remarks being attributed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, following her meeting with the President of the University and Executives of the Faculty Association on Monday on the main campus of the University.

During the meeting, the President and Visitor listened to the grievances of the Faculty which included, among other demands, the payment for ten months pre-war salary arrears, the increment in salary and the payment of research allowances.

The President informed the Faculty of measures being taken in collaboration with the University administration to address some of the issues raised long before they embarked on their current action. The government, the President said, was working towards addressing the issue of salary arrears through a supplementary budgetary allotment by the Bureau of the Budget. The issue of salary increment, the President said, would also be reviewed comprehensively in line with standing regulations of the Civil Service Agency. These are processes which must be followed.

The President also reiterated government’s determination to provide a conducive learning environment for the institution, including ongoing efforts to make transportation available for the University to ease the transportation burden of students.

President Johnson Sirleaf, however, frowned on acts of violence and hooliganism by anyone at the University, be it students or faculty, to disrupt the learning environment on the Campus. The Visitor made it clear that while government was keen on addressing the problems at the University, it would not tolerate any acts of indiscipline. Anyone caught disturbing the peace and engaging in violent acts at the University, will be dealt with in keeping with the law.

President Johnson Sirleaf also rejected demands by the University faculty for the payment of ‘research allowances.”  She said such allowances were extra budgetary allotment set aside by the University administration for faculty members during the administration of Former President Taylor, to win political favor among faculty members. Research allowances, the President contended are usually based on merits and not subjected to the goodwill of politicians as was done in the past.

Some members of the University faculty Association disrupted classes on Monday at the University, in demand of pre-war salary arrears and other benefits.