By Bill W. Cooper
The National Health Workers Union of Liberia (NAHWUL) has inducted into office its new corps of officers to steer the affairs of the union for the next four years.
Recently, the union at its 2nd National Convention brought together health workers from across the 15 counties and convened at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) in Paynesville where they witnessed the election of over 11 members.
Those elected and inducted into office include Jerry Kollie, president; Martha C. Morris, and Francis B. Kerkula, first and second vice-presidents; George Poe Williams, Secretary General and Deemi T. Dearzrua, Asst. Secretary General.
Others are Meshach G. Karmo, Financial Secretary; Alice Q. Jackson, Treasurer; Simon A. Morris, Chaplain; Edwina G. Sheriff, Women Wing Chair, and Zayzay M. Wolobah, Youth Affairs chair.
Delivering his inaugural address, the union’s president, Jerry Kolllie lauded his colleagues for reposing their confidence in him to lead them, a position he said he will uphold and maintain to the letter.
Mr. Kollie who could not hold back his excitement further vowed to ensure that all healthcare workers across the country’s rights will be respected and protected through series of engagements with the national government.
According to him, his leadership will also build on the gains made by his predecessor ranging from the advocacy of unionizing NAHWUL, improving public healthcare workers’ salaries and other incentives as well as ensuring that no healthcare worker will be intimidated or illegally dismissed from job, among other things.
“This is a historic day for this union and all healthcare workers across the country, because I can assure you that this leadership will be very robust in advocating for you because your rights and well-being are my first and foremost primary objectives,” he stressed.
At the same time, Mr. Kollie called on all healthcare workers including nurses, medical doctors, physicians and midwifes among others to unite and reconcile their differences for the growth and improvement of the Union.
Earlier, the keynote speaker, Forkpa Gizzie, a retired nurse, cautioned the new leadership to relentlessly ensure that unity prevails amongst the union members.
According to him, without unity, the agenda of the newly inducted leadership will not be actualized, noting that it should be the primary objective and priority of the union’s new president.
He added that the union is now at the crossroad due to the lack of unity and oneness amongst members, as such, the leadership should see reason in bringing all hands-on deck as means of moving the institution forward.
“You can do all of the advocacies or the protests, but it will not yield the desired result due to the disunity amongst members, so, it is important that this leadership unites its members to succeed,” Mr. Gizzie advised.
The one-time retired government health worker further stated, “I have been in this business for over years now and I know what has been happening, so, Mr. president, you have to look outside of the box and think twice and resolve this unity within the union in order for your voice to be heard audibly across the country as a team.”
For his part, NAHWUL’s outgoing president, Joseph S. Tamba admonished the incoming leadership to prioritize the construction of the union’s national headquarters on the land already purchased and secured for said purpose.
Mr. Tamba then lauded all healthcare workers for peacefully conducting themselves during the process, while at the same reminded the government to see reason and address their recent plight protested for.
By Bill W. Cooper