The staff of the Judicial Service will resume work today following the 2-week suspension of the nationwide strike by the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG).
This follows a meeting by JUSAG and representatives of government yesterday where the parties agreed to negotiate “in good faith” to meet the demands of JUSAG for a review of the salaries of its members.
“During the 2 weeks, all parties shall negotiate in good faith, conclude and make the necessary arrangements for payment of the reviewed salaries and related allowances of staff of the Judicial Service in June 2023”, a statement released by the parties said.
The statement was jointly signed by the Minster of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, and the National President of JUSAG, Samuel Afotey Otu.
Present at the meeting were representatives of the Office of the President (OOP), the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice (OAGMoJ), and the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) represented by the National Executive Board (NEB).
However, JUSAG has warned that it would not hesitate to activate its strike if the government failed to honor its commitment to review the salaries of staff of the judicial service as recommended by the judicial council.
“We wish to inform the government that JUSAG shall not entertain any undue delay beyond the timelines given.
“The processes for the approval of the new salaries must complete and payments made to staff in June 2023.
“The strike is only suspended, but not called off. If the government does not show the needed commitments, we shall advise ourselves,” a statement signed by the national president said.
JUSAG on May 24, 2023, declared an indefinite strike to drum home their demand for the government to review their salaries.
According to JUSAG, per the Constitution, the salaries of staff of the judicial service have to be reviewed by the President, acting on the advice of the Judicial Council, and by convention, the said review was done every two years.
However, according to JUSAG, the President had failed to implement the recommendation by the Judicial Council on February 2023 for the salary review.
Justice delivery across the country came to a standstill as the various courts were reduced to a graveyard ambience, barely 24 hours after the strike was declared.
A working visit by the Daily Graphic revealed that the legal system has grounded to a halt as the hitherto brisk legal hubs were deserted.
The teams observed that all the court premises were locked, making it virtually impossible for lawyers, prosecutors, and persons with cases pending before the courts to gain access.
The entrance to the courts was locked, with red bands tied at the main gates of many of them.
Some court users and litigants who were not aware of the strike action and had traveled from far and near to access the services of the courts were frustrated because there were no officials to attend to them.