State attorneys defy orders to call off strike

Striking state attorneys have declined a directive by the National Labour Commission (NLC) ordering them to call of their ongoing strike immediately.
The President of the Association of State Attorneys, Francisca Tete-Mensah, said they would not comply with the directive because they are yet to receive official communication from the NLC that cites reasons for the order.
“It is just fair that we be expected to act after we have seen the letter [from the NLC]”, she said Thursday morning.
The state attorneys have been on strike for the past two weeks to express their dissatisfaction with their conditions of service.
They are demanding, for instance, an increment and harmonisation of their salaries and benefits to that of circuit court judges as stated in the Legal Services Act 1993.
They have also complained of lack of logistics to enhance their work.
Failed attempts
After attempts by the Chief Of Staff, the Legal Service Board, Parliament and the Presidency to get them to back down on their agitation, the Attorney General, Marrietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, took the matter to the NLC.
However, a meeting called by the NLC Wednesday to get the Attorney General and the striking State Attorneys to agree on a roadmap to resolve the issues was not attended by the latter.
According to the state attorneys, the letter that invited them to Wednesday’s meeting was served late.
But in a statement after a meeting Wednesday, the Labour Commission referred the matter to compulsory arbitration and urged the state attorneys to go back to work.
Francisca Tette-Mensah said the state attorneys are not likely to comply.
She said they would first have to receive the letter from the NLC and agree with the parties in the matter before they take a decision on their stance.
The strike by the attorneys is affecting the administration of justice across the country.
Only recently, members of the the Judicial Service Staff Association embarked on a similar action to protest poor conditions of service
Credit: myjoyonline

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