New JTA president disappointed with progress of wage talks
Newly installed president of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA), Georgia Waugh Richards, says she is disappointed with the progress of wage negotiations with the government and is urging a speedy settlement.
Addressing delegates following her investiture at the JTA’s 53rd annual conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay last night, Waugh Richards said the negotiations only began last Friday, that's six months after the government acknowledged the teachers' wage claim for the 2017/19 contract.
Her remarks coincide with reports that some government-run schools could be without their full contingent of teachers for the 2017-18 academic year, as some educators have been leaving to pursue more lucrative options overseas.
In the meantime, the new JTA president is imploring the government to initiate research to determine the real cost of educating a child.
Some school administrators have been complaining that funding allocation from the Education Ministry is inadequate to meet their operational expenses.
They say the issue has worsened with the government's decision to abolish school fees in public schools, as well as, the implementation of a no-auxiliary fee policy.
The Education Ministry has insisted that school administrators refrain from charging parents auxiliary fees to cover expenses.
The ministry has also set a cap on contributions that parents can be asked to make to schools.