Colombia’s striking judicial workers could not reach an agreement with goverment officials on Wednesday and plan to protest next Friday.
The strike is now in its third week and has completely shut down the country’s court system as more than 100,000 pending cases have come to a temporary impasse.
After three hours of negotiations on Wednesday, the Minister of Justice and representatives of the judicial workers union could not come to an agreement regarding the judicial workers demands of higher, more equitable salaries and an increased budget.
Union President, Luis Fernando Otalvaro said the government’s proposals have changed in the last few days and as a result, the two sides are further away from an agreement.
“The Minister again said the government has the money to start leveling salaries by 2014, but in 2013 the Prosecutor General’s office and other judicial workers will have to pay for its own budget. That is unacceptable,” said Otalvaro.
“The government does not want to negotiate,” Otalvaro added bluntly.
According to the President of the Corporation of Judges and Magistrates, a huge pay gap exists between lower level magistrates and high level judges, a problem that has gone unresolved for almost twenty years.