Teachers restive as tension mounts over salary issues
There is growing tension in the education sector as teachers remain restive over unsettled issues with their new salaries under the government's compensation scheme.
Their union, the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), issued a charge late Wednesday night for teachers to embark on industrial action to press the government.
"This continued disrespect and regard for us as teachers is unacceptable. We must arise and register our displeasure. To make a bad situation worse, those who have received their salaries this month are confirming that anomalies/discrepancies are yet to be fixed. Colleagues it is time to act," said JTA president La Sonja Harrison in an audio message.
According to the JTA, teachers in Westmoreland, St Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, Kingston, St Andrew, and St Thomas would register their displeasure on May 25 and May 26.
And teachers in Hanover, St James, Trelawny, St Ann, St Mary, and Portland will do the same on May 29 and 30.
The JTA said all teachers across the island would take action on May 31 and June 1.
Checks by The Gleaner in the Corporate Area this morning revealed normal activities at some institutions while at others teachers expressed that they are in preparation mode.
Parents of students at Irish Gelly Primary School received phone calls to collect their children by noon.
“The teacher said teachers will be on strike so I guess is no school tomorrow [Friday],” a parent told The Gleaner.
Over at the Stony Hill All-Age and Junior High School, regular classes were in session.
However, a member of staff told our news team that teachers were not yet on strike.
“They are here and getting ready. A good amount turn out this morning but highly likely they will not show up on Friday,” the staff member said.
Over at Manning's Hill Primary, sports day activities were on in earnest.
“Dem can strike tomorrow not today. The kids a enjoy dem sports day. Di government fi pay the teacher dem,” a parent told The Gleaner.
It was a similar situation at Manning's Hill Primary, which is also hosting its sports day.
Meanwhile, checks with some teachers in Westmoreland revealed that the industrial action notice was received late and that classes were operating as normal today.
- Andre Williams
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