The Employment and Labour Relations Minister has opened up to Ghanaians the difficulty the government is facing in its negotiations with the leadership of the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) over their grievances.

Haruna Iddrisu said largely, the difficulty has come about due to the financial implications meeting the demands of the Association would place on the government and the national budget.

The Employment minister made this known at a news conference after the second bout of government's negotiation with the Association ended with both ends not reaching a compromise.

JUSSAG has refused to call off its 10-day strike which was declared in May 20 over government's delay in the implementation of the consolidated salary recommended by the Judicial Council.

The government promised the Association would call off its strike early last week but that did not happen.

JUSSAG has been resolute charging until the government meets its demands, its members would not go to work. It has refused to back down in the face of legal suit brought against it by the Labour Commission.

Meanwhile, justice administration and delivery have been brought to a halt as the Supreme Court, court complex, and the other courts in the country remained closed.

Litigants, lawyers and police prosecutors have been left dreading the passing of each day as the Association's strike rages on.

The government's negotiation team led by the deputy Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Baba Jamal and the deputy Finance Minister, Ato Forson have been unsuccessful in convincing the JUSSAG members to call off their strike.

However, Mr Iddrisu expressed optimism claiming "some progress has been made and tomorrow [May 31] there would be a major definite public pronouncement on the future or otherwise of the strike action."

He said "Government is deeply concerned about the on-going strike action and the withdrawal of services which has the potential to affect negatively the delivery and administration of justice in the country."

Explaining the extent the government could go to meet the demands of the striking judicial workers, the Employment minister said "we are definite on what government can do and cannot do between now and early January 2017."

"We have to look at its financial implications for government vis a vis our ability to pay and accommodate within the constraint of the national budget and the national economy," he said.

"We need to plan for it," he added saying "There are some matters relative to the Constitution that the Constitution both in Article 1 (49) and 1 (58) make some prerequisites that has to be determined in dealing with the salaries conditions of service and salaries of judicials and non-judicials."

 

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