General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The Association of Magistrates and Judges, Ghana (AMJG) has clarified that its threat of strike is due to the inability of government to pay the salary arrears and not ex-gratia as has been reported by some media outlets.
Justice Victor Ofoe,President of the Association who spoke to Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday July 18 explained: “It is factually not correct that judges and certain category of people are entitled to certain benefits every four years; that is not the case.”
He indicated that committees review the salaries and allowances of judges and magistrates every four years and if there are any increments they are backdated.
However, backdated salaries have not been paid to members for months and every effort made to the Finance Ministry to have them paid have not been successful.
He said the situation has placed a financial burden on some judges and magistrates as they have to use their own means to finance accommodation, transportation, and other needs.
“You increase the person’s salary but you continue to pay him the old salary and you have to pay him the difference between the old salary and the new one that has been constitutionally determined by a body. So it is not benefit that is gotten every four years,” he pointed out.
“Committees sit virtually every four years then they come out to determine the salaries of a certain category of people including judges. Invariably they find themselves increasing the salaries and as a matter of course backdate the operative date of the salary so it is these arrears in salary that the judges of the superior causes are claiming and not benefits they take every four years, neither is it ex-gratia as I am told Graphic has reported; it is not ex-gratia.”