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General News of Monday, 24 April 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

JUSSAG partly to blame for allowance dispute – Labour Commission

The National Labour Commission (NLC) is blaming the leadership of the Judicial Services Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) for the unresolved issues over the payment of their outstanding allowances.

The NLC Executive Secretary, Adongo Bawa Duah, explained to Citi News that the leadership of JUSSAG did not pursue all the possible avenues at the commission with respect to their grievances.

“The leaders of JUSSAG did not exhaust the procedures at the national labour commission to ensure that a permanent and enforceable decision was reached on their allowances and that is why this matter is recurring. If they had appeared before the National Labour Commission for its dispute to be adjudicated upon, then the commission will then have enforced its orders against government, but this did not happen,” Mr. Buah said.

The NLC Executive Secretary reminded that “it is the National Labour Commission which can reach a binding a decision with regards to their [JUSSAG’s] disputes with government.”

“The signing of a memorandum of understanding with government agencies does not resolve the matter permanently because they are not judicial documents,” he added.

Background

JUSSAG has served notice it would resort to a strike to claim outstanding allowances should the government fail to clear outstanding arrears this month.

In a letter signed by the JUSSAG President, Alex Nartey, and addressed to the Judicial Secretary, the Association said its members are economically constrained because of government’s failure to pay the allowances.

The government has however indicated its intent to sit down with the various stakeholders of the Judicial Service JUSSAG to resolve issues regarding the allowances.

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah said the stakeholders meeting will ensure that issues regarding the payment of allowances are addressed amicably.

JUSSAG’s last strike came in April 2016, when it acted on its displeasure over delays in implementing a new salary structure approved for them by the Judicial Council, but the association later suspended the strike after receiving assurances from the government.

The association held that the government had failed to correct the anomalies that existed in their pay structure.

In October 2016, it gave the government until the end of that month to correct the perceived anomalies identified in its renegotiated pay structure or face a strike.