The Press Union of Liberia has learned with utmost shock the developing employee’s 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 programming at LBS beginning Monday if the entity’s allotment in the draft fiscal budget does not increase in the 2018- 19 fiscal budget.
The Fiscal Budget’s US 1.2 million contributions to LBS in the 2017-18 fiscal budget dropped to U$800,000 after the government announced a shortfall in revenue generation.
A subsequent recast fiscal budget of the Weah Administration left the state broadcaster with U$ 600,000 which is being maintained in the draft 2018-19 fiscal budget.
Government’s contribution to LBS mainly covers the operation of three different sub-stations in Lofa, Nimba and Maryland counties in addition to salaries.
In a release issued in Monrovia recently, the PUL is urging the Weah 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 programming at LBS in the interest of the public.
The Union is insisting that dialogue should be the hallmark in resolving the issue of 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 are still appallingly low and being paid in the ever-depreciating Liberian dollar,” the released, which was signed by PUL Secretary-General, Daniel Nyakonah, stated.