The Ghana Legal Service Board, has ordered the Association of State Attorneys (ASA) back to work by Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. Failure to do so, according to a letter posted on various notice boards within the affected ministries, would result in authorities considering their absence as a vacation of post.
After numerous threats and notices, the Association of State Attorneys (ASA) went on strike on October 20th, 2016, and have remained so ever since. So for over two months, state attorneys have been on strike, making their strike one of the longest lasting strike in recent history.
Asked why they're still on strike, sources said it was because the association had not heard anything from the board on their concerns from the beginning of the strike until New year's eve.
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According to sources at the ASA, after serving all concerned parties with a notice to strike the Minister of Labor wrote a letter to the Controller and Accountant General directing them to begin making the proper deductions to individual salaries. This was done so authorities could begin making pension contributions on behalf of the aggrieved attorneys. These deductions still haven't been received by SSNIT till present, even though deductions have been made from individual salaries since October 2016.
Once the strike was under way the Chief Director of the Attorney-General's (AG) office, Mr. Suleiman Ahmed, issued a request to the courts asking them to adjourn all cases involving state attorneys below the rank of Chief State attorney. According to the letter, the Chief Director stated that the they were "working towards resolving their grievances".
These grievances are as follows:
-A sustainable pension scheme for state attorneys
-Harmonization of of salaries and benefits with that of the lower bench as required by Ghana's Legal Service Act.
-The establishment of conditions of service for state attorneys by the legal service board
Chief Director Suleiman subsequently issued a letter on November 10th acknowledging receipt of a letter - from the ASA - requesting the enforcement of a an N.L.C 28th September, 2015 Compulsory Arbitration Award.
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He subsequently requested that striking attorneys return work while what the demands - which he referred to as proposals - were taken under considerations. A request which went unheeded because, according to the ASA, they were waiting for a response to their demands, and they were already on strike after issuing all concerned a seven day notice before going on strike.
Sources at the ASA state that the association was waiting for word from the ministry before they decided to take the next appropriate steps. Now with this most recent correspondence and considering the Ghana Bar Association's call to give the incoming administration the benefit of the doubt, the Association of State Attorneys is now re-strategizing.
This being said, it is likely that the ASA will contact the incoming government to inform them of their concerns.