Chief Justice Georgina Wood
Magistrates and Circuit Court judges across the country are poised to begin a strike action on May 6, 2014 to press home their demand for a restoration of their over 50 % salary cut.
This was confirmed to DAILY GUIDE by reliable sources close to the Judicial Service, who also said judges of the lower courts felt disappointed with the inability of government to restore their salaries, although those of other sector workers had been increased.
According to the sources, magistrates and judges took the decision after the government had failed to inform them about what was being done about their salaries.
This paper was informed that the judges were really angry about the unnecessary delay and noted that if they did not act, the government would not take any action to address their case.
According to the sources, at a meeting by the judges a few months ago, ‘there was a split decision among them as to whether to go on a full strike immediately or give government up till the end of April to implement their decision’.
A source said the judges were given the assurance that there would be a restoration of their salary within a couple of weeks.
Furthermore, the source explained that the judges were particularly disappointed after confirmation from the Controller and Accountant-General’s office that the issue of the restoration of the salaries had not been dealt with at that level.
It has also been confirmed from the Accountant-General’s office that the salaries of the judges had not been restored hence, the reason for the decision to go on strike.
It will be recalled that the lower court judges had suffered 50 percent pay cut on the orders of the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Prosper Kweku Bani.
The government had been sued over the pay cut by Samuel Ampomah, a farmer, but the State informed the court presided over by Justice William Atuguba, that they wanted an out-of-court settlement over the issue and the case was consequently withdrawn.
A few months after the out-of-court settlement, the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, had failed to ensure the restoration of the salaries of the judges.
Mr. Terkper, according to a reliable source at the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department, had indicated that the salaries could not be restored because ‘there is no money.’
A source from the Judicial Service has told this paper that apart from the 50 percent deductions, there had been additional cuts in the salaries of the judges up to GH¢100 a month.
By Fidelia Achama
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