Anambra judiciary workers threaten strike, give 14-day ultimatum

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 June 2016 | 2,571 times

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The Anambra State chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria yesterday issued 2 weeks ultimatum to the state government, threatening to embark on strike over the government's inability to grant them financial autonomy as well as non-payment  of  2015 leave allowances to its members in the state.

Addressing journalists in Awka, the state chairman of JUSUN, Mr.  Mark Ifezue, said that the government should take the blame for the action saying that the workers have run out of patience.

He queried why the state government had reneged on the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with JUSUN on the issue of financial autonomy for the judiciary in the state some months back.

Ifezue also expressed disgust over nonpayment of 2015 leave allowances to judiciary workers in the state while other workers were paid theirs since December last year.

The statement released by the union read thus; “Recall that the Union has written severally to the state Government, drawing their attention to the continued breach of the M.O.U on Financial Autonomy of the State Judiciary entered into by the State Government and the Judiciary Staff Union; but could only get an unhelpful response from the office of the Secretary to the State Government.

“The Union view with regret, the deliberate refusal of the State Government to keep to her own side of the bargain; the Union equally regret the deliberate intention to starve the Judiciary of Fund to execute her capital Projects.

“It is almost impossible to power generators in the respective High Courts in the State and the Courts are sitting under a very harsh condition.

“Virtually all the Magistrate Courts are dilapidated and the working environment of the workers is unimaginably horrible. A good number of workers are without chairs and tables and other working materials.

“The Union found it very unsatisfactory that outside the initial release made to the State Judiciary in the First quarter of 2015 consequent upon which the strike was suspended, the  State Government has not deemed it fit to make further release in line with the M.O.U, despite repeated demands.”

The petition further read; “The State Government has equally refused to pay the 2015 Leave allowance of the Staff of the Suite Judiciary when other Civil Servants in the employ of the State has been paid.

“We have shown sufficient patience and understanding, and our patience outstretched.”

The union said after its enlarged Executive Committee meeting of 16th Day of June 2016 and after reviewing the situation, it resolved:

“To request the State Government to effectively address the issues raised within two.

“To take any action we deem fit and proper as a last resort without further recourse to the State.

However, in a letter written by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Osita Chukuwlobelu, to JUSUN dated 11th March, 2016, it stated that the matter of budgetary allocation of funds to the judiciary was not a union issue, but a matter better handled between the Governor and the Chief Judge who is the head of judiciary.

The letter stated, “It is observed that government is not signatory to the memorandum of understanding annexed to your (JUSUN’s) letter under reference.

“Lastly, considering the present fragile financial/economic situation of the country, may I advise that the time is totally inauspicious for this type of threatening and combative correspondence from any union.”

•Photo shows Governor Obiano. 

Source: News Express

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