*accuse government of abandoning MOU
*govt had no MOU with you, govt insists
From Chuks Collins, Awka
Judiciary workers in Anambra state under aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), has given a two week ultimatum to the state government to return to the terms of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) it signed earlier with the union or face industrial action.
Already members of the Union have been notified formally to stand by for further directives with copy of the reminder written to the state government and the government’s reply by the Secretary to the State (SSG) Prof Solo Osita Chukwulobelu.
The State chairman of JUSUN, Comrade Mark Ifezue, told reporters yesterday in Awka that they made repeated unsuccessful demands for the payment of their agreed leave allowances with no positive response from the state government.
According to him, “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 deem it fit to make further release in line with the M.O.U, despite repeated demands”
“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 out stretched, the Judiciary workers will not be punished for asking for an autonomy for the State Judiciary, which as a matter of fact and by law is legitimate”
“Sequel to the above, the enlarged Executive Committee of the Union met on the 16thDay of June 2016 and after reviewing the situation resolved as follows”
“To request the State Government to effectively address the issues raised within two weeks from date i.e. the issue of non compliance with the M.O.U as it regards capital votes and nonpayment of Leave allowance”
“To take any action we deem fit and proper as a last resort without further recourse to the State Government by this notice, you are enjoined to be on alert and await further directives from the Union, which may be sudden”
But in a letter to the union, and signed by Prof Chukuwlobelu, dated 11th March, 2016, the state government clearly stated that the matter of budgetary allocation of funds was not a union issue, but a matter better handled between the Governor and the State Chief Judge who is It is observed that government is not signatory to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) annexed to your letter under reference”
“Lastly, considering the present fragile financial/economic situation of the country (Anambra state is not in any way, shape or form immune from it), may I advise that the time is totally inauspicious for this type of threatening and combative correspondence from any union”
“Essentially, there is no “them and us” between workers on one side and the government on the other, in this administration, please, be guided accordingly” the state government wrote.