…Demands Payment of CONJUS, Other Entitlements
By Agnes Igwe
The National officials of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) have interfaced with Ebonyi State Chief judge, Justice Anselem Nwigwe on the need to start paying the state judiciary workers in accordance to the federal government approved salary/allowances scheme for judiciary workers nationwide.
The national executive members led by the National President, Comrade Marwan Mustapha represented by the Assistant Secretary of the body, Comrade Saidu Magaji Adamu expressed displeasure that among all other States in the federation, Ebonyi judiciary workers are yet to start receiving the approved salary.
Speaking with Newsmen after a closed door meeting with the chief judge in his office at the state judiciary headquarters, the National President enjoined the chief judge to mediate on the matter with the state Governor, Engr. David Umahi to ensure payment of the peculiar allowances to the state judiciary workers as already approved and being received by their counterparts in other states.
Comrade Mustapha said, “We are here today in Ebonyi state to interface with the honourable Chief judge of the state and to discuss extensively on very important issues affecting our members’ welfare.”
“We are asking the honourable chief judge to intervene in the matter about peculiar allowances supposed to be paid to our members in the state.”
“You know all other states in the federation are enjoying the peculiar allowances but Ebonyi state is behind. This is why the Union wants to handle the matter and we shall see it to the end. But we have decided to follow due process and democratic ways of doing things by getting our management and other officials of judiciary to discuss with them so that they can intervene and mediate with the Governor of the state to start the payments.”
“We shall exhaust every available avenue to ensure that the needful is done because a laborer deserves his/her due wages and what is good for the geese is also good for the gander.”
On his part, the Chairman of the Union in the state, Comrade Oko Nnachi prayed the state government to hearken to their pleas as they put in their best in ensuring quick dispensation of justice.
Comrade Nnachi said, “The federal government approved the payment of the salary since 2011. It depends on the dialogue with the state executive. The state is supposed to implement it. The state is of the argument that the money is tagged federal peculiar allowance meant for only federal judiciary workers. But I know that the agitation was for both federal and state judiciary workers nationwide. The beauty of it is that all other states even in the South East are already enjoying the said peculiar allowances. Go and make investigations, you will find out that they have started enjoying more than what we get here.”
“Other matter we discussed with the chief judge is pertaining to workers promotion. Promotion in civil service is always captured in the budget. When budgets are made, provisions are made to capture promotion. A situation where promotions are attached to availability of vacancies is not done in civil service but can only be found in private sector.”
“As soon as the budget is approved, everyone is entitled to his/her promotion because it is taken care of in the budget. So, we are begging the state government to really look into the matter and see that we start enjoying our promotions and every other allowances accruing to us.”
Speaking during interview with other judiciary workers, Mrs. Nwafor Ngozi and Mr. Abel Nnachi joined their executive members in the appeal to the state government for payment of the peculiar allowances.
“In 2015, leave allowances were paid to others, even ministries, but that of judiciary was partly done. Few are receiving while others are not being paid even till date. That aside, from 2016, some people have been promoted and given GEN35 while others are left for no fault of theirs.”
“I’m among those who received GEN35, but for two years now we are still being paid salary of the previous grade level.
Meanwhile, it is expected that at the end of the mediation processes, members of JUSUN Ebonyi state chapter shall start enjoying judiciary peculiar allowances, be promoted and paid accordingly among other lawful entitlements which will ensure efficiency in service delivery.