JUSAG threatens industrial action

BY: Nana Konadu-Agyeman
Mr Justice Victor Ofoe (right) administering the Oath of Office to the new JUSAG executive members.  Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH ADDAI
Mr Justice Victor Ofoe (right) administering the Oath of Office to the new JUSAG executive members. Picture: EMMANUEL ASAMOAH ADDAI

The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) has threatened that its members will go on strike if the government fails to immediately address all outstanding issues pertaining to their conditions of service.

The President of JUSAG, Mr Alex Nartey, who gave the hint, said that if the government failed to heed the association’s appeal for improved conditions of service,members of the association would have no choice but to resort to industrial action.

“We think that the government must take action as early as practicable and if we do not hear anything by June 29, 2018, the national executive council will converge and conclude on the matter,” he said.

Mr Nartey was speaking at the swearing-in of a five-member newly-elected national executive of JUSAG in Accra last Thursday.

The executives were sworn into office by an Appeal Court Judge, Mr Justice Victor Ofoe, who led them to take the oath of office and secrecy.

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Judiciary starved

Mr Nartey said the government had over the years consistently starved the judiciary and violated constitutional provisions that prevented it from varying the budgetary needs of the Judiciary Service.

He said even before the Judicial Service could submit its budget this year, the government had gone ahead to place a ceiling on the budget, above which no proposal was going to be accepted.

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“This has plunged the Judicial Service into serious difficulties where most of the time some of our registries do not even have basic stationery to administer their daily responsibilities.

“As we talk now, in some of the registries some of our staff buy standing fans just to make sitting in the offices comfortable to serve the nation,” he stated.

Mr Nartey also urged the government to increase the current 30 per cent Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) retained by the Judicial Service to 80 per cent, to give the service enough resource, to enhance justice delivery.

“Every Ghanaian is looking forward to the general growth of Ghana that is hinged on good governance and democracy; however, governance and democracy, being the hallmark for development, cannot thrive without a robust judiciary,” he contended.

Lip service

Mr Nartey, therefore, urged the national executive and the entire staff of the Judicial Service to rise up and prevail on the state to ensure that what “is needed to be done to make the judiciary vibrant and efficient is done, by way of providing it with adequate resources.”

The JUSAG President also urged the government to stop paying lip service to the needs of the Judicial Service, and asked for the immediate payment of fuel allowance of staff of the judiciary from 2016.

“Since we have not relented in our commitment to serve the nation, we demand that all our fuel allowance, from 2016, are paid to us immediately.

“As the scripture says, the labourer is worthy of his wage and for that reason, the allowance due us from 2016, cannot continue to be withheld from us, while we are expected to continue with our responsibilities,” he stressed.

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