The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) has served notice that it would embark on a strike action on November 13 this year. The association says the decision was arrived at as a result of the failure of the Ministry of Finance to review salaries of Judicial Service staff this year in line with the biennial review of salaries of the staff which the ministry is obligated to carry out. Rather, it said the Ministry of Finance had slated 2020 for the salary review process.
Issue of conflict
“Our current salary was implemented in the year 2017 and is to be renewed biennially. The Association wrote for salary negotiations on April 26, this year and subsequently served a reminder on July 29.“It has, however, come to our attention that the Ministry of Finance has rather slated 2020 for the salary review and for it to be implemented in 2021. The Association vehemently disagrees with the position taken by the government,” a notice signed by the President of JUSAC, Mr Alex Nartey, said.
The notice was copied to the Chief Justice, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. As part of the intended industrial action, JUSAC has directed its members to hoist red flags and put on red armbands from Tuesday, November 5, this year until the day the strike will begin.“We are using this opportunity, therefore, to call on the Judicial Council and the Government to immediately address our legitimate issues and concerns to avert the intended strike,” the notice added.
JUSAG has embarked on or threatened an industrial action on a number of occasions in the past.Last July, the association threatened to embark on a strike action in reaction to the Judicial Service’s delay in promoting its members as stated in an assessment report. In June 2018, JUSAG threatened that its members would go on strike if the government failed to immediately address all outstanding issues pertaining to their conditions of service.
Also in May 2016, it declared an indefinite strike which crippled the courts, effectively bringing the justice delivery system to a halt. Before then, in March 2016, the association had declared a nationwide strike which was supposed to begin on April 1, 2016, but called it off after it received assurances from the government that the process for consolidation of salaries and allowances for its members would start on Monday, April 4, 2016.
It followed what the association said were delays in the implementation of the consolidated salaries and emoluments for its members. During negotiations to find an amicable solution to the problem, the National Labour Commission ordered JUSAC to direct its members to return to work as negotiations continued. JUSAG called off the strike after two weeks following assurances that the issue would be resolved.
However, members of JUSAG later went on strike due to the government’s failure to consolidate salaries and allowances of members as approved by the Judicial Council in 2012.