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Judiciary workers reject Anambra Govt.’s overtures, refuse to end strike

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 03/11/2015

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Anambra State Branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) yesterday kicked against the State Government’s recent move to end the lingering strike by the judiciary workers in the state, saying that no amount of coercion will make them return to work unless the contentious issue of Consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure (CONJUSS) is satisfactorily resolved.

Speaking on the State Government’s proposal to end the strike, the state chairman of JUSUN, Comrade Mark Ifezue, said the union was aware that government was making moves to engage those he described as thugs to masquerade  themselves as judiciary workers in other to open the courts for business.

Describing the move as an exercise in futility, Ifezue noted that the union is rejecting the draft proposal from the state government because the proposal was not time structured, while the phrase that said that CONJUSS would be implemented when the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, doubles in 2016, was not specific.

In his words; “The government proposal did not offer what the state will pay as CONJUSS when the IGR doubles in 2016. Besides, CONJUSS is not peculiar to Anambra State as it is a salary structure worked out for the judiciary workers in the country and virtually all the state judiciaries are implementing it.

“Again, the union is aware that in January 2015, the state government added 20% to the salary of health workers and raised their salary to 60% from 40%, just as the salaries of teachers were equally adjusted. That of judiciary workers was left with a paltry 5%.

“If the increase in the salaries of health workers, as well as the adjustment in teachers’ salary should not wait till when IGR doubles, the issue of CONJUSS should be addressed. We observe with dismay, the state government’s unwillingness to address the issue, but rather chose to indulge in blackmail, propaganda and looking for scapegoats.

He stressed that the union’s stand still remains the same which is that the state government should address the issue of CONJUSS by working out and agreeing with the union on an acceptable salary charts based on CONJUSS emoluments with defined time of implementation.”

He however regretted the state government’s refusal to abide by the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, it signed with the union on financial autonomy of the state judiciary, particularly as it affects the release of capital votes of the judiciary and domiciling of projects concerning the state judiciary within the budget of the state judiciary, arguing that unless the MoU was complied with, the impasse would continue.

The JUSUN Chairman while commenting on the issue of the increasing number of staff of the judiciary as written in the state government proposal stressed that the employment of additional staff became necessary based on existing vacancies, saying that the State Judiciary Service Commission determined the staff need, while the House of Assembly approved the exercise.

He added that also top government officials have been sending lists of their favored associates for employment in the state judiciary.

•Photo shows Governor Obiano.

 

Source News Express

Posted 03/11/2015 05:08:11 AM

 

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