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Haruna: Striking JUSAG members can only be paid after Pres Mahama’s approval

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, says he is awaiting approval from President John Mahama before government can pay the consolidated salaries of the striking staff of the Judicial Service.

The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana [JUSAG] for the second time this year, began an indefinite strike Friday to pressure the government to pay them their two-year consolidated salaries and allowances.

JUSAG at a news conference in Accra Thursday re-called countless meetings with government and the Judicial Council which have yielded no results.

According to them, although they reached an agreement with the government in April when they embarked on a strike, that is yet to be fulfilled. They said a presidential meeting set up to discuss the payment schedules failed to implement the recommendations hence their latest action.

But the Minister has described the strike as regrettable and illegal, and called for calm among the JUSAG members for negotiations to continue.

Although he admitted the concerns of the members are genuine, he said the government will not be stampeded to implement the recommendations.

“By all indications, it’s an illegal strike even though they have legitimate issue. I think that its better achieved though continuous dialogue and negotiations,” Mr Iddrisu told TV3, adding the government will pay all the consolidated salary and allowanced based on the approval of the President.

He said: “For them, the argument is once the Judicial Service has given an approval that’s it, no. The Constitution says with the prior approval of the President. The President has sought our advice which is being given. We have formally conveyed it to him”.

The Minister thus urged the members to resume work while they dialogue with government for the payment to be made, saying “I will appeal to them to come back to work, continue to reach out to us; continue to dialogue”.

Meanwhile, he has lashed out at the leadership of JUSAG for failing to honour an invitations for meetings organised by the National Labour Commission.

He also repeated calls for members of JUSAG to be transferred onto the essential service providers list.

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