Teachers continue protest over new compensation scheme
The island‘s public teachers are to continue their protest action, to further register their rejection of the government‘s offer, under the new restructured compensation scheme.
The teachers have decided that they will stay off the job on Thursday and Friday.
This after delegates of the Jamaica Teachers‘ Association voted against the offer during a meeting on Wednesday.
Over 300 votes were cast by the delegates supporting a resolution calling for the government to do more for the education sector.
In a statement, the JTA said, in light of the vote of the delegates, normality cannot be guaranteed in schools, effective today (March 9).
The JTA said, as a result of the expressed wishes of the delegates, individual schools will assess their situation and register their displeasure.
It said the schools will employ various options available to them.
Speaking to reporters at Wednesday‘s delegates meeting, JTA President La Sonja Harrison again called for the nation‘s educators to be given a livable wage.
Harrison suggested that the starting point for graduate teachers should be should be $3 million per year.
Meantime, principal of the Hopewell high school in Hanover Byran Grant said 50-percent of his teachers have called in sick.
Since Monday, teachers at various schools islandwide, have been taking industrial action, to include, calling in sick, staging sit ins, marching with placards, and dressing in all black.
School administrators have had to resort to other means, such as using online modality, using senior students to monitor those in lower classes, or sending students home early.
Meantime, the education ministry will be seeking a meeting with the ministry of Labour and Social Security concerning further deliberation with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) regarding the lawfulness of the prevailing posture of some of its members.
The ministry in a bulletin said it will also call on the JTA to speak with its members concerning whether their conduct under the current circumstances were ethical and lawful.
According to the bulletin, the ministry has not been formally advised by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association of any industrial actions being taken by the union which is accommodated in the labour laws.
It said where this is done, the ministry will guide parents and students, thereby ensuring continued learning in the remote or virtual environment as well as to ensure the safety of the students.
It noted that to deny students access to school is a breach of policy and to dismiss them from school without proper notice and sufficient time for parents to make preparation to receive their children is unacceptable and may endanger the students.
As such it said, the recent conduct of some teachers is of concern and requires immediate administrative oversight guided by the education regulations, 1980.