The Press Union of Liberia has leant with utmost shock the developing employees unrest at the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) being fueled by a seemingly low
projection for the entity in the upcoming fiscal budget.
Employees of the State Broadcaster have announced the boycott of normal programing at LBS beginning Monday if the entity’s allotment in the draft fiscal budget is not increase in the 2018/2019 fiscal budget.
The Fiscal Budget’s US$1.2 million contribution to LBS in the 2017-18 fiscal budget dropped to U$800,000 after government announced a shortfall in revenue generation. A subsequent recast fiscal budget of the Weah’s Administration left the state broadcaster with U$600,000 which is being maintained in the draft 2018-19 fiscal budget.
Government’s contribution to LBS mainly covers operation of three different sub-stations in Lofa, Nimba and Maryland counties in addition to salaries. The PUL is urging the Weah’s Administration to restructure the appropriation for the Liberia Broadcasting System to suit operations, salaries and provision of competitive and enviable content aimed at telling the full Liberian Story.
The Press Union of Liberia wants the employees to abandon their planned boycott of normal programing at LBS in the interest of the public. Dialogue, the Union insists can continue on budgetary allocations without the disruption of normal broadcast at the state broadcaster recognizing the significant role journalists have to play in protecting the public right to know.
Employees of the Liberia Broadcasting System remain least paid among public servants and have never had pay raise since Liberia returned to normal state operations in 2005/6. Salaries at the state broadcaster is still appallingly low and being paid in the ever-depreciating Liberian dollar.