Judicial Staff Declares Indefinite Nationwide Strike in Ghana 

JUSAG Declares Indefinite Nationwide Strike in Ghana  (News Central TV)

The Judicial Service Staff Association (JUSAG) in Ghana, has declared an indefinite strike over delayed salaries and related allowances, which took effect on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

JUSAG’s National Executive Council approved the strike after consulting with all stakeholders.

The association declared a strike in response to the delay in approving the Judicial Council’s recommendation/advice on the review of their salaries and related allowances in accordance with Article 149 of the 1992 Constitution, among other things.

On May 10, 2023, the National Labour Commission (NLC)  ordered JUSAG, the Labour and Employment and Finance Ministries, and other parties to negotiate and resolve the matter within two weeks.

The parties were to report back to the Commission on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

The decision of the Commission, according to Samuel Afotey Otu, National President of JUSAG, violates Article 149 of the 1992 Constitution by attempting to deprive the President of the authority granted to him by the 1992 Constitution.

He also claimed that the ruling contradicted the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2016 case of JUSAG vs. The Attorney General and 2 Others.

“Despite the Commission’s apparent violations of natural justice rules and its flavorful ruling,” he said, “we placed the interests of the Judiciary and Ghana high and exercised patience, hoping that the government would exercise good faith and initiate steps to resolve our grievances.”

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Unfortunately, he stated, no one in government invited them to a meeting or attempted to resolve our concerns.

The National President stated that the Labour Minister, who was tasked with leading the resolution did not act on it despite the fact that they remained patient for 14 days.

He stated that it was clear to them that the commission had a predetermined mindset planned with the government to frustrate JUSAG’s efforts to demand what was due its members.

JUSAG Declares Indefinite Nationwide Strike in Ghana  (News Central TV)

He said the ruling of the Commission was prepared and dated on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 prior to the meeting on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.

The National President said the Commission’s ruling was prejudiced and biased in favour of the government.

According to Afotey Otu, the Commission violated virtually all of the principles of natural justice, and the entire proceedings at the Commission and the ruling resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

“In a bid to cover the injustice visited on JUSAG, the Commission wrote a letter dated May 12, 2023, to JUSAG withdrawing its ruling on the grounds of supposed error they had detected in their ruling,” he added.

He said that by the withdrawal, “therefore, there was technically and there was still technically, no ruling or directive” preventing JUSAG from proceeding with their industrial action since they had not replaced the withdrawn ruling with another one, or serve the same on JUSAG.

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“By this declaration of strike, all staff of the Service were immediately directed not to report to work from Wednesday, May 24, 2023, onwards unless and until President Nana Akufo-Addo complies with Article 149 of the Constitution by approving and paying our new salaries with all arrears from January 2023, to date,” he said.

He stated that no court registrar should open or be forced to open any registry or court for use during the strike.

He noted that the JUSAG regional executive board and committee members would be on the lookout for compliance.

He observed that the security men and women were to remain at their posts but ensure that all entrances to the courts and other offices were locked to prevent entry into the courts or any service premises.

According to the National President, all drivers have been directed to turn over any official vehicles in their possession to the transportation department.

“During the strike, no driver shall drive any office vehicle, officer, or judge,” he said.

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He stated that if any service member receives a threat from any Management member to report to work or perform any official duty during the strike, he or she must refuse and report the matter to JUSAG.

“Let no one in Government or Management unlawfully coerce or intimidate any staff during the strike,” Afotey Otu stated. 

The National President stated that if any member was treated unfairly in this cause, “we shall deem it as if all members have been affected.”

As a result, he urged the leadership of the Association of Judges and Magistrates to join the strike, citing the fact that the majority of their members are also affected by the injustice and suffering we are experiencing. 

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