Workers at state run radio, ELBC, have expressed disappointment over the low budgetary allotment allocated to the Liberia Broadcasting System in the 2017/2018 fiscal budget year.
ELBC employees said, despite their appeal to the legislature during the budget hearing, crafters of the national budget allotted US$ 750,000 to LBS for operations and salary, thought failing to address salary adjustment at the entity.
LBS workers revealed that, the low budgetary allotment over the years has rendered the management incapacitated, to purchase vehicles for staff, thereby posing major constraint to workers traveling to and fro to work or assignment areas.
The President of Liberia Broadcasting System Workers Union said, a reporter at the state run radio earns a monthly salary of 9000 Liberian Dollar.
Moses Dorbor made the statements Monday, August 7, 2017, during a press conference held on the compound of ELBC.
“LBS employees’ remains the least paid amongst Government workers and have not had the opportunity of salary increment since 2005/2006.
“For example, the national entity that focuses on propagating Government policies and programs pays it reporters a monthly salary of 9000 Liberia Dollars,” LBS workers union boss said.
Mr. Dorbor, who from the expression on his face looked disappointed, disclosed that ELBC employees have over the years committed their lives to promoting the Government and its key actors but continue to be overlooked in the budget preparation.
According to him, the low budgetary allotment to LBS continues to keep the employees amongst the lowest income earners in the country, as the station management has said time and again that it can’t increase salaries of its employees because of the amount of money it received.
The Liberia Broadcasting System Workers Union further expressed grave disappointment over the failure of the national legislature to raise the state broadcasters budget to a considerable level to enhance the entity effectively discharge its statutory duty.
The union president narrated that the leadership of the workforce at LBS pleaded with the legislature to increase the state run radio budget to at least US$ 1.5 million, during the budget hearing.
“This move by the lawmaker amount to denying the Liberia people access to adequate information and education, especially during this critical period in our nation history.
“We believe that our lawmakers who gave us assurance that no effort would be spared to address the LBS situation, instead chose to make mockery out of the system by just adding US$ 50,000 to the previous budget,” Mr. Dorbor disclosed.
Workers at the state enterprise said they are particularly disappointed in all the lawmakers from South Eastern Liberia, where LBS is poised to install new broadcast equipment.
“While it is true that we are not politicians, it’s important that we make the Liberian people understand that this budget shortfall will adversely affect elections coverage; meaning plans earmarked by LBS management to provide media coverage of election activities across the country will not be fully executed” LBS workers Union president averred.
Mr. Dorbor said he think it is about time that the Public Broadcaster Act before the National Legislature be passed into law so as to give the national broadcasters free hands to work for the Liberian people.
He said, in the absence of the passage of this Act, LBS will continue to be strangulated and the Liberia people will continue to be denied their right to access the state broadcaster house in the years to come.