SANNIQUELLIE, Nimba â€“ Members of the Faculty Association at the Nimba County Community College have again embarked on a go-slow in demand of their two monthsâ€™ salary from the administration of the institution.
Alastair Zorh, the director of communications at the college, admitted on Radio Nimba on Wednesday, June 13 that lecturers had begun protesting in order to demand that the administration pay their salaries for the months of April and May.
Zorh said the faculty associationâ€™s action came on the first day of final examinations, preventing students from starting their finals on Monday.
He alleged that the frequent protests by faculty and students at the college is politically motivated by individuals whose names he refused to disclose.
â€œSome of them donâ€™t want for Dr. Yar Donlah-Gonway Gonoâ€™s administration to achieve its goals and objectives,â€ he said.
Zorh assured the faculty members and students that the administration was working to ensure that the delays in paying salaries would no longer hinder educational activities at the college. He maintained that the collegeâ€™s president, Gono, had made all necessary arrangements with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to resolve the delay in paying salaries.
â€œBeginning from July this year, faculty members will not face problems with [the] administration related to receiving their salaries,â€ he said. â€œIt is unfortunate as an administration â€“ every moment â€“ to have go-slow action. And it does not put us right when it comes to promoting the institution.â€
The communication director of the college lamented that it is not the intention of the collegeâ€™s administration to delay faculty salaries. He maintained that despite these setbacks, the college is performing better than other community colleges in Liberia.
Responding to the collegeâ€™s communication director, the chair of faculty association, Nathan Gono, Sr., said faculty members took this recent action because the Nimba County Administration had committed to paying them by June 10 after a previous go-slow. He said the faculty associationâ€™s actions are backed by an agreement signed a few weeks ago that said failure on the part of the institution to pay them for two months would result in another go-slow.
He challenged Zorhâ€™s claims that the protest is being politicized, asking the collegeâ€™s spokesperson to provide proof to support his statements. Gono said the protest was simply about the faculty getting their â€œfair shareâ€ on time.
He cautioned that statements accusing members of the faculty of wanting the collegeâ€™s administration to fail could create unnecessary tensions in the future. He called on Zorh to retract his statement to ensure a cordial working relationship between the administration and faculty.
â€˜â€™We are serious about it and we are going to engage Zorh and the administration because he is the spokesman for the college if they have started labelling people,â€ he said.
Gono, however, said the administration has begun negotiating with members of the Faculty Association to resolve the go-slow.
Featured photo by Franklin Nehyalor