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Thwaites supporting teachers' cause for salary increase

Published:Thursday | April 16, 2015 | 7:28 PM
Thwaites ... says teacher's salary negotiation is not his reponsibility.

The Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says his ministry is supporting the cause of the Jamaica's teachers who are pressing for an increase salaries and benefits for the 2015/17 contract period.

The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) which represents more than 30,000 teachers in the public education school system is among several public sector unions which rejected the five percent increase in basic wages over two years as proposed by the Government.

The JTA has requested a 25 per cent increase over two years.

However, speaking at a post-sectoral press briefing at Jamaica House, Mr Thwaites says the area of wage negotiations is not his responsibility.

"The responsibility of the levels that can be afforded by an economy that is working itself out of debt and is under considerable fiscal strictures is not mine and I will not speak to it," the minister said.

He said, however, that the ministry of education stands behind the good teachers of Jamaica in their claim and hopes for a livable wage and good working conditions.

"It is not for mouthwater and wordsay. We are looking at our budget and going over every line item to see what adds value and what can be put in place to improve the conditions of our teachers," the minister said.