Sun | Mar 26, 2023

Administrative workers at UTech stage sickout

Published:Monday | February 6, 2023 | 2:49 PM
The protest action by the workers is expected to last for two days. - File photo.

More than 200 administrative workers at the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech) have staged a sickout, protesting the lack of progress in the ongoing compensation review with the institution. 

This is the second protest action by the workers in two months. 

President of the University of Technology Administrative Staff Association (UTASA), Jeanette Grayson, told The Gleaner that despite numerous meetings, her association has been unable to get a definitive position from UTech's management as to where members of the administrative staff would fall within the new compensation structure.

“We have been operating on the past establishment which was from 1995 and it only recognises 603 staff. Currently, the university has a complement of more than 1,300 staff. So, if the government does not recognise this current establishment that we are using, which we have not signed off on, then the staff who do not have post numbers, they will not be able to benefit from the public sector reform, ”she said. 

She said the latest meeting held with university management in January did not give members any optimism that the institution is advocating for them. 

“Only to realise that we were in a worst position than when we started because we have been asking them to get our establishment to be signed off by the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance, for the staff to be able to benefit from the administrative and the public sector review with the correct establishment, we are not going to have this done anytime soon,” she said, 

Grayson said the sickout is expected to last for two days.

On Thursday, UTASA will have a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Labour before deciding its next steps. 

“We're only asking the university's management to do what they need to do to ensure that the staff are able to do their work. They're being paid to manage the university and we're asking them to reach out, take a stand where our parent ministries are concerned to ensure that the staff are satisfied,” she said. 

- Sashana Small 

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