Sat | Mar 23, 2019

UTech staff unions outline grouses over funding

Published:Wednesday | February 20, 2019 | 12:31 PM
Protestors at the University of the Technology, Jamaica on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - Ian Allen photo

Unions representing workers at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) have charged that the absence of adequate funding of the institution has caused a difficult working environment.

In a joint statement, the UTech Academic Staff Union, the UTech Administrative Support Staff Association, and the University and Allied Workers’ Union said that the underfunding by the government is chronic and there needs to be an urgent and significant injection of funds.

Workers, their unions and students protested today over the issue of funding.

Full Statement

The chronic under-funding of the University of Technology, Jamaica by the government has been a long-standing issue and remains unchanged despite numerous initiatives by numerous stakeholders. 

The recent and continued non-consideration of increased financial support to our university has inspired our students to take up the issue and to make an appeal to the Government.

 Today’s action is intended to give fillip to the students who have now raised their voices and to the management of the university, both of whom are now frustrated at the continued under-funding of the university.

The staff is equally frustrated and through the Joint Union supports this initiative.

The university has inherited government programmes such as Nursing, Midwifery, Oral Health and Public Health without the necessary infrastructure or financial support.

The absence of adequate funding at UTech has imposed hardships and a difficult working environment upon the staff and students. 

Notwithstanding, Utech, Jamaica has maintained academic excellence at great personal sacrifice and has delivered to the nation, thousands of skilled professionals; has more than doubled the student population since 2007; and has earned programmatic and most recently university accreditation.  However, the signs are clear—if the national university is to continue on this path of excellence, there needs to be an urgent and significant injection of funds.

Utech, Jamaica’s per capita subvention from the government is lower than those of teachers’ colleges, the College of Agriculture, Science, and Education (CASE), Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts, community colleges and most secondary schools.  This appalling disparity cannot be justified and must be corrected with dispatch.

The issue of subvention has impacted all stakeholder groups at UTech, Jamaica. 

Today’s action is intended to highlight for the nation and the government the urgent need for increased financial support for the National University.  

We want to hear from you! Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169, email us at editors@gleanerjm.com or onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com.