Labour expert says teachers would lose differentiated pay case at IDT
Labour relations expert, Dr Orville Taylor, believes teachers are unlikely to be victorious if they challenge any government decision to provide better salaries to their math and science-based colleagues.
Last week, Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, stirred controversy after disclosing that the government is considering paying science and math teachers more than their colleagues, to keep them in Jamaica.
Dr Taylor says the best argument for implementing differentiated payment is arguing that such a system supports the national interest.
And he says using that argument, it is unlikely that the Industrial Disputes Tribunal will rule against the government.
The university lecturer says it would not be a breach of labour agreements if the government gives one category of workers more without taking away benefits from others.
Meanwhile, Dr Taylor says a similar payment system exists at the University of the West Indies, where some lecturers in the medical field are paid more than their colleagues in other subject areas with similar levels of education.
He says this may be as a result of the relative scarcity of qualified lecturers in the medical category, a similar situation faced by the government regarding math and science teachers.
The Jamaica Teachers' Association has declared that it is against any move to pay a select group of teachers more than the rest, although it acknowledges that science and math teachers are being lured overseas.