The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) has postponed its nationwide strike slated for yesterday to October 31, 2017, following an intervention by the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo.
But at a press conference yesterday, the President of JUSAG, Mr Alex Nartey, said the labour union had to call off its planned action after the Chief Justice intervened.
“We issued a notice of an industrial action over this issue to the Labour Commission. The notice has attained maturity and gave us the basis to embark upon a legitimate industrial action.
“The Honourable Lady Chief Justice has, however, made an impressive intervention appealing to us to give her up to October 25, 2017 to take up the issue with the government and the Judicial Council. The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has also met us and our next meeting is October 31, 2017 to finalise the issues,” he said.
Mr Nartey explained that JUSAG would have no choice than to embark on an industrial action on October 31, 2017, if the intervention by the Chief Justice and the meeting with the Labour Ministry failed to yield results.
JUSAG has repeatedly expressed its intention to embark on a strike action after it served notice that the rent allowance to be paid its members had been outstanding since January, 2017.
The General Secretary of JUSAG, Mr Derrick Annan, earlier on told the Daily Graphic that although, the salaries and allowances of JUSAG members had been consolidated per the recommendation of the Judicial Council, some of the allowances, including the rent allowance had not been factored into the new salary structure.
The Judicial Council, he said, then entered into an agreement with the government for the rent component to be paid on a quarterly basis.
“But when the payment for the rent allowance was due, the Ministry of Finance was informed, only for the ministry to reply that the consolidated salaries and allowances included the rent component,” he said.
In view of that development, Mr Annan said, JUSAG wrote to the Chief Justice on August 16, 2017 to clarify the issue raised by the Ministry
“The office of the Chief Justice wrote to the Ministry of Finance on August 23, 2017 and stated that the rent allowance was not part of the consolidated salary, but the Ministry of Finance is yet to reply,” he said.
This is not the first time, JUSAG had threatened to embark on a strike in relation to its conditions of service.
In 2016, it embarked on an industrial action on three different occassions after it had accused the government of dragging its feet on the consolidation of its salaries and allowances as recommended by the Judicial Council.