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General News of Friday, 22 June 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Chief Justice being treated like union rep – Judges association

The Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana is upset that the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, is being made to look like a trades union representative in the negotiations over salaries and conditions of service.

The Association feels there should be systems in place to address salary concerns of judges.

These concerns were made as the Association again served notice that it may strike over issues relating to their salaries and conditions of service.

“Why should be the Chief Justice be made a trades union officer to be seeing the President on the salary of judges? It is something very difficult for us to understand,” the association’s president, Justice Victor Ofoe, said at a press conference on Friday.

“We find it very offensive if not provocative that our leader [the Chief Justice] should be doing such trades union jobs which should not be the case at all because there are structures for reviewing salaries of judges.”

Members of the lower bench, including circuit court judges and magistrates of the district courts, threatened to withdraw their services in March 2018 over these concerns.

But the judges and magistrates suspended their intended strike following an intervention the Chief Justice.

It was reported at the time that she had begun talks with President Akufo-Addo, to resolve the concerns of members of the lower bench.

The Association is however concerned with the fact that a purported meeting with the President and the Chief Justice has not borne any fruits.

“Our worry is that nothing appears to have come out materially that will convince the judges that the government is taking the matter seriously,” he said.

With the strike considerations, Justice Ofoe said he was considering summoning the association’s regional executives on July 6.

He served notice that the judges will not sit idle if their fortunes do not change.

“What is so special with our stomachs that if we are being cheated we should say no strike and be going hungry if Tanzania and Zambia can go on strike and they will get their results.”