Former SLBS workers get Severance Package
Freetown â€“ The Transitional Management Team (TMT) of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) has paid end-of-service benefits, or Severance Package, to 176 contract workers of the formerly state-run Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS).
â€œThis is in fulfilment of our avowed commitment to ensure workers of the former SLBS get their entitlement within 60 days of their layoff. They worked for it and they deserve it,â€ says Abdul Tejan-Jalloh, Chairman of the TMT.
The total amount paid to the retrenched staff, in excess of half a billion Leones, came from the United Nations Peace-building Fund for Sierra Leone which is partly funding the corporatisation of the SLBC. However, the payment does not include tenured civil servants who, as a result of the change in status of the now independent public service broadcaster, have either been redeployed to other Government departments or are on contract to continue while recruitment will be made shortly to staff the SLBC.
The TMT Chairman also assured that salaries for April and May would be paid this week to a skeletal staff retained for a 3-month period ending later this month. The delay was due to the change in payment procedures from what had existed.
Meanwhile, in addition to its Chairman, the first batch of members of the new SLBC Board of Trustees has been approved by Parliament. The TMT urges the House to speed up ratification process for the remaining nominees so as to expedite recruitment of the SLBC Director General and team which must be done by the Board.
The TMT was set up in October 2009 comprising representatives from the National Commission for Privatisation, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Civil Society and the United Nations. Representatives from the Labour Ministry and the Human Resources Management Office were later incorporated to help work out and pay the just-concluded severance package.
Umaru Fofana, TMT Member
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