Judges Serve Strike Notice
Circuit court judges and magistrates have given the government a 10-day ultimatum to implement their much awaited 10 percent salary increment.
According to the group of judges, their patience had run out and failure by the Ministry of Finance to pay them would compel them to embark on a strike.
“Upon a series of interactions, meetings and consultations, we have decided to withdraw our services by close of September 30, 2016, if our 10 percent salary increment owed us is not implemented,” a source close to the judges told DAILY GUIDE yesterday.
He noted that the controversy surrounding the case was needless because there is clear provision in the 1992 Constitution for the determination of the conditions of service per a letter written by the Judicial Service and approved by the late President J.E.A. Mills.
In the view of the source, people with their parochial interest have resurrected the issue creating a non-existent problem for the judiciary.
The source said, “As we speak now, the 10 percent increment owed the judges and the magistrates of the lower bench has not been paid, irrespective of a letter written to the Judicial Service to that effect.”
The source continued, “The implementation of the 10 percent upward review should have been done in July this year. But that of the high court judges has been affected while ours still hangs.”
The paper further gathered that even the high court judges who are lucky to have had their 10 percent salary increment effected, still have some arrears to be paid to them by the government, which sources say “is creating anxiety and anger among the judges.”
It may be recalled that in June this year, over 200 magistrate and judges called for the immediate withdrawal of a letter from Julius Deborah, the Chief of Staff, seeking to vary the conditions of service for the lower bench with a new salary structure.
According to the judges, the letter dated May 26, 2016, only sought to further review their conditions of service which had already been approved by the late president J. E. A. Mills as far back as 2012.
The judges have therefore, warned that failure by the government to withdraw the said letter would see them resorting to the law court to seek redress.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson