General News of 2014-01-14

Judges to go on strike?

Information reaching the Punch indicates that judges of the lower courts are planning a nationwide strike action in protest against the slashing of their salaries. The aggrieved judges made up of those at the Circuit and Magistrates courts are alleged to have held a meeting to decide on an effective date for their imminent industrial action if the ministry of Finance and the Controller & the Accountant-General’s Department do not act immediately to restore their deducted pay differences.

It will be recalled that a certain Samuel Ampomah, a farmer and founder of Advocacy for Peace, a non-governmental organization, has taken the State to the Supreme Court over the government’s decision to cut the salaries of judges of the lower courts allegedly by 50 percent.

The plaintiff is also suing the Attorney-General, the Chief of Staff at the Presidency and Minister of Finance, as well as the Controller and Accountant-General.

The farmer is invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Articles 2, 17(2), 36(2), 127(1) and 5 of the Constitution.

Ampomah believes a letter by the Chief of Staff, dated April 10, 2013, which directed and informed the Chief Justice about the State’s decision to withdraw an approval of the judges’ salary increase, amounted to discrimination.

According to him, when other public servants such as Members of Parliament, the President and some members of the Judiciary, as well as civil servants have had their salaries increased, the affected judges, on the other hand, have had their salaries reduced.

Source: The Punch
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