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Ebola: Liberian health workers demand pay rise

Ebola: Liberian health workers demand pay rise
October 13
22:39 2014

The Liberian national health workers association has demanded an increase in the pay of its members, threatening an industrial action in the demand is not met.

The healthcare body wants its members to be paid a risk fee of $700 (N108,000) a month. The fee is currently less than $500 (N77,500) a month, apart from the basic salaries, which currently range between $200 and $300.

Earlier, the union had called for a withdrawal from work on Monday, October 13, but the health workers did not yield the call.

According to BBC, the association’s secretary-general, George Williams, said the health workers had been put under duress and persuaded to defy the decision of the union.

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The country’s assistant health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, said an industrial action at this time would have grave consequences for those suffering from Ebola and would set back the country’s progress on conquering the disease.

Rather than implement the pay rise requested by the union, the government has said it can no longer afford the risk fee originally agreed, due to the scale of the epidemic.

Speaking through its information minister, Lewis Brown, it pleaded with the health workers to “be reasonable”.

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“We are working with them the best way we possibly can, so that they understand we should have a common interest in saving lives by fighting this disease,” Brown said.

With more than 2,200 deaths, Liberia is the most affected country in the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

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