Sun | Sep 22, 2019

Critical illness fund established for teachers

Published:Thursday | August 22, 2019 | 12:09 AM
Ryan Parkes (centre), chief of business banking and public sector engagement at JN Bank, in conversation with Dr Garth Anderson (left), outgoing president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), and Owen Speid, new president of the JTA.
Ryan Parkes (centre), chief of business banking and public sector engagement at JN Bank, in conversation with Dr Garth Anderson (left), outgoing president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), and Owen Speid, new president of the JTA.

Chief of business banking and public sector engagement at JN Bank, Ryan Parkes, has said the private sector has a part to play in assisting the nation’s educators to achieve financial success and peace of mind.

Parkes was speaking recently to members of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) at its 55th annual conference being held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St James.

The business banker said the ongoing challenges many teachers face only serve to diminish their confidence in themselves and the state. However, he said the duty of meeting the economic needs of public servants, such as teachers, is not only for the government to bear.

“You have served us, now we must serve you, by assisting you to achieve your best self. You also need to have confidence that you can achieve material success, as you give of yourselves daily, to shape the lives of future generations. Teachers should not need to borrow to supplement their incomes, or scramble to pay their bills. They should have the opportunity to earn and live well, like any other educated person,” he stated.

In his remarks, Dr Garth Anderson, the outgoing president of the JTA, commended financial institutions such JN Bank for their partnership with the JTA to assist with strengthening teacher’s access to financial services.

He said several financial institutions, including JN Bank, have helped to make it possible for the JTA to launch its own critical illness trust fund for educators affected by cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

He said many educators, some who have served the education system well for many years, are now finding it difficult to finance their healthcare needs.

“The JTA is concerned that too many teachers, retired and in service, are being affected by these lifestyle-related diseases and, unfortunately, are unable to finance their medical expenses,” he said.

He further lamented that many teachers are still facing a major struggle to meet their basic needs because of their meagre salaries.

He informed that annually, one per cent of the dues paid by members of the JTA will go towards sustaining the critical illness fund.