The Anambra state chapter of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria may commence strike any time soon.
The chairman of JUSUN in the state, Mr Mark Ifezue made this known to Sunday Punch on Friday in his office at the state Judiciary Complex.
He said JUSUN in a meeting with the state government on Monday rejected N50million quarterly capital vote offered to the judiciary in the state by the government.
He maintained that the union would commence industrial dispute with the state government by Tuesday should their meeting with the government that day fail.
JUSUN in the state had two weeks ago issued a 14- day ultimatum to the state government to address issues of judicial autonomy and unpaid 2015 leave allowances to its members.
Shortly after the ultimatum, the state government paid the 2015 leave allowances to the court workers, but is yet to address the financial autonomy for the judiciary.
Consequently, the union began negotiations with the government on the financial autonomy of the Judiciary in the state.
It was gathered that about two times the parties met, no compromise was reached.
Briefing the press, the JUSUN chairman said “we remain focused to our demands, but we want to be on the side of justice and fairness.
“We met with the state government on Monday and we are coming close to something.
“The government agreed to be giving the judiciary in the state N50 million quarterly as capital vote, but we rejected it.
He maintained “This is for all the courts in the state; including customary courts and customary court of Appeal”.
“We’re meeting again next week, Tuesday. We want to exercise patience, but we won’t accept N50million quarterly capital vote for the judiciary in the state.
He insisted that the state government could do better because, according to him, there were enough funds to so do.
He said “After salaries and overhead costs are paid, the state government has N4 billion quarterly in excess, according government’s own account”.
“We don’t see why it’s only N50billion that the state government could allot to the state judiciary in the state quarterly from the N4 billion?”, Ifezue stated.
He said the union had asked the state government to increase the quarterly capital vote for the judiciary reasonably, failing which the union would have no other option than to review its relationship with the government.
When contacted, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu said the issue of financial autonomy of the judiciary was between the state governor and the Chie Judge.
“It is not the business of an employee. What does an employee know about financial autonomy of the judiciary?” The SSG stated.