General News of Saturday, 21 January 2017
Striking state attorneys will be returning to work on Monday, January 23, the Attorney General-nominee, Gloria Akuffo, has indicated.
During her vetting for the office of Attorney General and Minister of Justice position, Ms. Akuffo revealed that President Nana Akufo-Addo had intervened in the impasse between the Association of State Attorneys and government.
“The President himself has intervened in the matter and has succeeded in persuading them to go back to work. I spoke with their national president and she assured me they will be reporting, God willing, on Monday,” she stated.
Ms. Akuffo also noted that there will be a further meeting with the state attorneys on Tuesday, January 24, despite the consensus seemingly being arrived at.
She explained that, “it [the Tuesday meeting] will come on because we have to look for not only immediate and medium term solutions but also long-term solutions. This will require the intervention of all the stakeholders; the attorneys, and it has to do with money, so maybe the fair wages commission and Ministry of Finance.”
“I will work very hard on bringing an amicable solution to the matter,” Ms. Akuffo further assured.
The Association of State Attorneys declared a strike in October 2016, in protest of government’s failure to meet its demand for improved conditions of service.
Several efforts to get them to return to work have proved futile.
The Attorney-General’s office described the strike as illegal, and further directed the State Attorneys to return to work by Tuesday, January 3, 2017, or be “considered as having vacated post.”
The Association of State Attorneys, however, insisted their strike is legal, noting that it was pursuant to a statutory notice under Section 159 (b) of Act 651.
The attorneys also blamed the National Labour Commission for the impasse, explaining that the Commission should have gone to the High Court to compel government to improve their conditions of service.
Reliefs being sought by attorneys
The reliefs that were being sought by State Attorneys are:
Payments of correct harmonized salaries to state attorneys.
Sustainable pension scheme
Free official vehicles
Housing facilities or allowance
Payment of outstanding leap, clothing and fuel
Payment of outstanding promotion salary arrears
Logistic support, machinery, equipment and tools
And illegal revision of conditions of service for state attorneys