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UTech advised to release report to quell staff issues

Published:Thursday | December 11, 2014 | 1:38 PM

A recommendation has been made to have the University of Technology (UTech) release a report to quell the latest contention between the institution and its staff.

The recommendation is reportedly among several made by the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) to resolve deep-seated issues affecting the relationship between the staff and UTech administrators.

UTech has refused calls from the staff unions to release the report on its finances done by the Public Accountability Inspectorate at the Ministry of Finance.

Last week, the staff unions demonstrated and aired their concerns at a subsequent press conference.

Commissioner of JTEC, Maxine Henry-Wilson, says there is no reason to withhold the report.

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She says Education Minister Ronald Thwaites will determine the next step in relation to the recommendations.

Last year, staff represented by the UTech Academic Staff Union, the UTech Jamaica Administrative Support Staff Association, and the University and Allied Workers' Union, brought to national attention a number of deficiencies relating to governance, human resource and financial management.

The Education Ministry later established a committee to probe the concerns which led to a report in February that resulted in president Professor Errol Morrison being forced to make way for Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, who now acts as president.

The report detailed an institution flouting government guidelines, making unapproved appointments, spending without proper accounting, and facilitating mistrust among its staff.

However, the staff unions are alleging that not enough is being done to implement the recommendations of the February report.