History of JUSAG.
The Association was inaugurated at Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast in 1973 by Justice F.K Apaloo then the Acting Chief Justice. The idea for the formation of the Association was mooted by the three members of staff, Kwesi Gyan Ainusion, E.O.Odametey and E.K. Mensah.
It started in a form of a presentation of a petition on the poor service conditions of the non–legal-professional staff of the Judicial Service. The draft petition prepared by Mr. Kwesi Gyan Ainusion was sent throughout the country member to members of staff to solicit their support and also, signatures. The first member of staff to respond to the call for a new deal for the non–legal-professional staff was Mr. Kankam then High Court Registrar. More than two hundred members of staff, notably junior staff saw the wisdom in the petition and therefore, singed the historic document.
The petition was accordingly submitted to the then Chief Justice Justice Azu-Crabb, who received it and promised to deal with the problems raised. The need for the formation of a united front to back the demands petitioned for became prominent. A meeting of the representatives of all the Courts in the regional capitals was convened at Cape Coast on the 13th April 1973. For the first time, agreement was reached for the formation of an Association. Interim officers were elected.
At the meeting a draft constitution written by Mr. Kwesi Gyan Ainusion was discussed and adopted. This meeting also fixed the date for the inauguration of the Association.
The Judicial Service Staff OF Ghana (JUSAG) was accordingly inaugurated on 3rd August 1973. The then Chief Justice Justice Azu-Crabb wrote two letters to formally give his official blessing to the formation of the Association. Since then the Association has grown in strength and size. Regional branches have been formed and are functioning effectively and have chalked many successes.
The National Headquarters Secretariat was cited at Cape Coast. The First General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Association, Mr. Kwesi Gyan Ainuson, then attached to the Circuit Court, Cape Coast, took charge. Mr. E.O. Odametey became the first National Chairman with Mr. E.S. Kankam as his Vice. Mention should also be made of the prominent role the Greater Accra Branch of the Association played in building JUSAG. They contributed in no small measure in harnessing resources for the running of the Association.
Due to lack of funds, no permanent staff were appointed. The General Secretary was his own Messenger, Clerk, Treasurer and Executive Officer. The General Secretary himself, through several memoranda, called attention to the need to strengthen the Secretariat with permanent staff. Accordingly, the National Executive Council took steps in 1979 to relieve the General Secretary of some of these heavy responsibilities. A National Treasurer was consequently appointed to take charge of the Accounts of the Association. Headquarters of the accounts of the Association was, however, in Accra. The National Secretariat remained in Cape Coast until 1986 when, by a resolution at Conference, it was moved to Accra.
JUSAG took over the running of the Beneficiary Fund, a Staff Welfare Fund in 1982. With the coming into force of the check-off system, a permanent Accounts Clerk to take charge of the day-to-day accounting duties of the Association was appointed to work directly under the National Treasurer in Accra.
With the increase in the volume of work and the growing need of welfare matters affecting the staff, it became necessary for the Association to review its operations and the administration of the staff. Such new increase in functions cannot come about without the overall change and review of structures of the Association as well as policies.
Under the recommendation of the General Secretary, therefore, the annual conference in 1986, by a unanimous decision, appointed a Committee to study and come out with changes in the Constitution and the administrative structures of the Association with the view to making its operation more efficient and less cumbersome. In 1989, on the recommendation by His Lordship, the Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrates were admitted to the welfare aspect of the Association. The Committee submitted its report to the annual conference in 1990.
It would be seen, therefore, that in addition its usual role of catering for the needs and welfare of the non-legal professional staff of the service, the Association has been called upon to broaden its scope of operation to cater for every member of staff in the Service.
Through dint of hard work, responsible and honest leadership, the Association has chalked several successes including relatively better working conditions for the administrative staff; built self-confidence in members and generally promoted very cordial relationship between Management and Staff. Presently, the Association occupies a Permanent Seat on the Judicial Council, the highest decision-making body of the Judiciary in Ghana