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NLC Orders Government to Negotiate with JUSAG over Salary Dispute

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The National Labour Commission (NLC) has ordered the government to negotiate with the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) to resolve their long-standing dispute over salary plans. This comes after JUSAG threatened to embark on an indefinite strike action on May 22 due to the government’s inability to approve their new salary plans for the past two years.

During a meeting on Wednesday, May 10, which involved the Ministry of Labour and Employment Relations, the Ministry of Finance, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, and the representatives of the Office of the President, the NLC ordered the parties to return within two weeks with their decision. The deadline for their decision is May 24, 2023, two days after JUSAG had intended to embark on an indefinite strike.

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JUSAG expressed their disappointment with the government’s posture in the resolution of the dispute. According to the National President of JUSAG, Mr Samuel Otu Afotey, the Finance Minister, Minister of Labour, and representatives of the Office of the President did not show up for the meeting, which is crucial to resolving the matter. The Association also expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to withdraw the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) in January 2023 and increase the salary of other public sector workers by 30%, leaving the staff of the Judicial Service to wallow in despondency.

For the most part, JUSAG respects the orders of the Commission, but they respectfully disagree with the decision of the Commission not to allow them to carry out their strike on May 22. They believe that the government does not care about the welfare and plight of the hardworking staff of an important institution like the Judicial Service.

It cannot be acceptable for the government to abandon the staff of the Judicial Service while other public sector workers enjoy their increase for four months now. JUSAG believes that no Ghanaian should be subjected to this ill-treatment.

In a nutshell, the NLC’s order for the government to negotiate with JUSAG is a step in the right direction. The government should show more commitment to resolving the dispute to avoid the negative consequences of an indefinite strike action.

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