Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Workers in the Anambra state judiciary have unanimously stated that there was no plot whatsoever to embark on an industrial action to press home their long standing demand for proper implementation of the Consolidated Judiciary Salary Structure which it claimed was being properly implemented in other states of the federation.
The workers, under the auspices of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) Anambra state chapter maintained that the issue of welfare and wellbeing of judiciary staff have been an issue for so long a time between the union and the state government as it concerns enhanced salaries for judiciary workers in the state.
Vice president of JUSUN southeast zone and chairman of the Anambra state chapter of the union comrade Mark Ifezue who spoke on behalf of the union at a workshop held at the judiciary headquarters Awka over the weekend, organised for JUSUN executives from the southeast states, noted that the union was still in talks with the executive arm of government over the implementation of the consolidated judiciary salary structure.
Ifezue recalled that “there was a time the body of chief judges worked out salary package for workers in the state judiciary, both at the federal and state level known as the consolidated judiciary salary structure; a lot of states are implementing it but unfortunately Anambra state is implementing it but it is not implementing it properly.” He pointed out that it has been an issue between the union and the Anambra state government.
Although the Anambra JUSUN helmsman disclosed that the union was still in talks with the state government over enhanced salaries for staff of the state judiciary, he also expressed optimism that hope was in sight as government would find it expedient to properly implement the enhanced salary structure for judiciary workers in Anambra state.
The southeast JUSUN vice president who was apparently elated over the financial autonomy granted the judicial arm of government in the country recently by the presidency, maintained that the advent of the financial independence meant that the judiciary would henceforth get its funds direct from the federal coffers which would in turn enable the union to attend to the welfare and wellbeing of judiciary staff.
He therefore added that issues of finances for the judiciary would no longer fall within the purview of the state government instead the judiciary would assume full responsibility of its finances from the federation account, stressing that in spite of the improper implementation of the consolidated judiciary salary structure in Anambra state, workers were patiently waiting for government to do the needful and there was no plan to resort to a face-off with the state government to press home their demands. He added that dialogue between JUSUN and the state government was in progress and there might not be likelihood of an industrial action as government and the union were on the same page.
On the other hand, Ifezue told journalists that the workshop was a leadership workshop to train union leaders across the southeast region on the nitty gritty of unionism especially as it concerns prudent management of union finances.
According to him, the seminar was equally a veritable platform to have stronger and more equipped union leaders, noting that about fifty participants attended the capacity building from the southeast states.