Thu | Apr 19, 2018

JTA not fazed... Stands in solidarity with protesting teachers

Published:Monday | March 12, 2018 | 4:55 PM
A low turnout of students at the Alpha Primary School in Kingston. In this classroom, a teacher sits at a student's desk with a few pupils from grades one and two.

The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has issued a statement saying it's not fazed by what it calls the organised, deliberate propaganda and
intimidatory tactics aimed at discrediting the group amid an islandwide protest by educators.

Public school teachers, demanding an improved wage offer from the government, failed to turn up at many schools today forcing early dismissals and closure in some cases.

The Education Ministry has been deploying substitute teachers to schools and said it has given no instruction for any institution to be closed.

READ: Education Ministry deploys personnel

According to the JTA, the government has been disrespectful and "high-handed" in its approach to the wage the negotiation.

The Finance Ministry has insisted that it cannot afford more that the six per cent increase for the 2017-2018 contract period and will be making the payments in this month's salary.

In the meantime, the JTA said it has observed with interest, information circulating in the media and from other sources of widespread absenteeism due to illness of public school teachers islandwide.

READ: Public schools disrupted as teachers fail to turn up

The association says it views the situation as a possible reaction to the manner in which the government has handled the ongoing salary negotiation for teachers.

"The JTA wishes to place on record the tremendous sacrifices teachers have been making to advance the welfare of the nation’s children," said a JTA spokesperson in the statement.

"We stand in solidarity with our members and well wishers and expect that the government of Jamaica will respond with alacrity in finding creative ways to satisfy the reasonable demands of the teachers."

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