Judicial Service staff threaten strike

It seems the cycle of industrial actions plaguing the country of late will not end anytime soon as Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) has also gone on strike.

It started with the education sector, health and now the judiciary.

If nothing is done about the situation, it is most likely to grind the administration of justice to a halt as the judicial service staffs, including court clerks, complement the effort of judges and magistrates to dispense justice.

It is also likely to affect proceedings of the landmark petition currently at the Supreme Court in which three people are challenging the Electoral Commission’s declaration of John Dramani Mahama as President in the December 2012 general election.

A letter written on April 2, signed by Francis Brakwah, IMC-Chairman of JUSAG, to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, gave the government April 4 to pay their allowances or they would start their strike.

The letter, titled: “Demand for payment of unpaid allowances and arrears”, was copied to the Chief Justice, Chief of Staff, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Chairman of National Labour Commission and the Judicial Secretary.

The letter said, “Arrears of some of our allowances for the year 2012 is [are] still outstanding and unpaid. Also, all allowances due us for the year 2013 are still unpaid.”

JUSAG Chairman stated, “This development coupled with the serious economic hardship confronting our members has led to a very serious agitation and restlessness among our members”.

The association said, “As a result of the government’s failure or refusal to meet its commitment towards the judicial service relative to this all important responsibility, we have been compelled by the prevailing circumstances which is [are] absolutely beyond our control, to request you as a matter of urgency to take steps to ensure the payment of all legitimate allowances to us on or before April 4”.

The JUSAG Chairman said, “We must state that failure to respond favourably to this request the consequence should not be blamed on the leadership since we have done all in our powers to contain the rather very explosive or volatile situation to no avail.”