Teachers who staged recent protests could face salary deductions, disciplinary actions

Teachers who have participated in industrial action in recent days could see deductions from their salaries, and face disciplinary actions.

This, according to a bulletin to administrators issued by the education ministry .

In the bulletin, the ministry noted that it is aware of the actions being taken by some teachers, in light of the unsettled wage negotiations.

These include “sit-ins”, “go- slow”, abnormally high percentage of absence all at once, as well as demonstrations during the work day.

The ministry says these actions have resulted in students being denied learning opportunities, being barred from accessing the school premises and being further exposed to danger due to lack of supervision during the scheduled period of learning.

The ministry stresses that it has not been formally advised by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association of any industrial action being taken by the union.

It says therefore, that the recent conduct of some teachers is of concern and requires immediate administrative oversight guided by the education regulations, 1980.

The ministry is instructing board chairmen of schools to ensure that school administrators take the necessary steps to ensure the proper documentation of leave taken by teachers during the period of disruption since the week of March 1, is completed and the relevant records adjusted accordingly.

The ministry notes that under the relevant regulations, a member of staff who is absent without leave and whose explanation of absence is unacceptable to the board, through the principal, may be liable to a loss of salary in respect of the period of absence.

It notes further that any application for sick leave for a period exceeding a total of three consecutive school days must be supported by a medical certificate.

The ministry stresses that principals are responsible for and are expected to give an account for the deployment of staff.

Therefore, it says where a teacher reports to work and has signed the attendance register as being present for the school day, that teacher is expected to carry out his/her duties as per the deployment schedule approved by the board of management and issued by the principal.

Where this is not done, the teacher may be deemed to have neglected his or her duties for which disciplinary actions can be taken.

The ministry adds that it will be seeking a meeting with the Ministry of Labour concerning further deliberation with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, (JTA).


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