Sun | Feb 18, 2018

Militant JTA president tells teachers to listen for call to action in Christmas Day message

Published:Monday | December 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Waugh Richards

President of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) Georgia Waugh Richards has again hinted that the public education system could be affected by industrial action early in the New Year.

In the annual Christmas Day message of the JTA president, Waugh Richards says the ongoing wage negotiation is moving at a much slower pace than was anticipated and urged teachers to be prepared to act.

“My colleagues across the nation, be not dismayed. The team that I lead refuses to accept anything of mediocre value. The negotiation process has been slowed but, my zeal has not been diminished in the least," she says.

“At this time, we have no schedule for another meeting with the Ministry of Finance as the scheduled meeting for Wednesday December 20  was postponed without formal notification."

Waugh Richards adds: “The teachers of Jamaica are adamant that their business must be treated with respect and seriousness.

“In light of this fact, we will not relent in ensuring that our voice is heard. And, speaking about voice, that sound is oh so close. Keep your ears to the ground.”

She told the teachers that the leadership of the JTA is determined to see to the improvement of the status of its “valued and committed members through improved financial gains. That is a promise we make and a promise we’ll work relentlessly to fulfill.”

Waugh Richards also urges the teachers to be safe throughout this season.

“Take time for yourself. I cannot overemphasise the importance of rest. While you celebrate and reunite with family and friends, take some time off for yourself.

“Within this personal time, reflect, connect with yourself and reboot,  heal and refresh. There is only one of you and it is your God given responsibility to take care of you.

“Of note is the death of a hard working and committed member of the Association and the long standing public relations officer for the parish of St Elizabeth Mrs Melonie Dixon who died recently.

“We regret her passing and that of all other educators  who also died recently. May their souls rest in peace and their memories live on in our minds.

“Colleagues, let us continue therefore to Unite and Serve.  Have a warm Christmas and a fruitful 2018,” says Waugh Richards.