Circuit court judges and magistrates have threatened to embark on strike from September 30, 2016 because the government has failed to implement their conditions of service as approved in 2011.
According to the source, judges of the superior courts (the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court) were enjoying the new conditions of service but “it seems circuit court judges and magistrates have been forgotten”.
The new conditions of service for judges were approved in 2011 and the implementation started in March 2012, but the judges and magistrates the appropriate authorities are yet to implement those for judges of the lower bench.
Based on the new conditions of service, circuit court judges and magistrates were expected to benefit from a 10 per cent salary increment and other allowances.
“If the government fails to show any commitment to implement the approved conditions of service for the lower bench, we will have no option but withdraw our services at the end of this month,’’ the source explained.
There have been signs that the judges of the lower bench will likely embark on some sort of industrial action to press home their demand for the implementation of the 2011 approved conditions of service.
In June this year, the judges and magistrates raised red flags over the government’s failure to implement the approved conditions of service.
But the government impressed on the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) to call off its 10-day strike to back its demand for the consolidation of salaries.
According to the judges, the government claimed that it was now about to approve new conditions of service for the lower court judges.
Due to the strategic importance of the Judiciary, its salaries, allowances and privileges are backed by the 1992 Constitution.
Article 127 Clause (5) states that the “salaries, allowances, privileges and rights in respect of leave of absence, gratuity, pension and other conditions of service of a Justice of the superior court or any judicial officer or other persons exercising judicial power shall not be varied to his disadvantage’’.