Mon | Jun 24, 2019

UTech academic staff accept wage proposal

Published:Saturday | May 18, 2019 | 12:21 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer

Following a meeting with the Government last Friday, the University of Technology, Jamaica Academic Staff Union (UTASU) has accepted a proposal from the management of the university, putting an end to their long-standing salary-adjustment dispute.

In a press release yesterday, Lebert Langley, president of the University of Technology, Jamaica Academic Staff Union (UTASU), said that the new salary scales and the retroactive payment for the 2019-2020 financial year must be paid to academic staff by July 2019.

He also said that the payments for the financial years 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 should be paid by May 2020.

Langley said that although the offer fell below their expectations, the union accepted it in the interest of stakeholders.

“Although the welfare of academic staff is important and should be properly addressed, it was the union’s desire to cause as little disruption as possible to the lives of students and other parties connected with UTech, Jamaica,” he said.

Earlier this month, members of the union carried out a strike, demanding that the salary adjustments set out in the 2015-2017 heads of agreement be implemented.

Prior to that, students and staff staged a protest at the entrance to the university’s Papine, St Andrew, campus on February 20, criticising the Government for what they described as chronic underfunding when compared to other tertiary institutions.

UTech receives a subvention of approximately $2.1 billion annually, which is predicated on a staff establishment of 608 members. The staff complement is now 1,440.

The failure of the university to implement the salary adjustment was also being protested.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com