Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Don't strike, sue

Published:Monday | May 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

With all the intellectual resources that the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) possesses I am disappointed that they have resorted to a strike action at this time. They have long passed the negotiation stage for their salary and there is no guarantee that this Government will honour any new contract signed.

The JTA is adamant in negotiating and signing a new contract with a high-handed Government which has demonstrated repeatedly that it has no regard for contracts. It has failed to honour the contract it had with the JTA for the payment of retroactive salary last year; and from the look of things, they will not honour the current contract either. It signed a contract with the nurses in November 2009 to be honoured in March 2010 and then failed to do so. Why is it then that the nurses, police and teachers are trying to sit with these trucebreakers with the intention of signing another contract?

This Government has a 'bracka massa' approach when dealing with matters. In a democracy, the prime minister, finance minister, labour minister and education minister are playing hardball. The JTA should therefore get in the game and fight fire with fire. Because of the current financial state, I know that the teachers, police, nurses, etc., were trying all means to make things easier for the Government, but the Government has demonstrated that it is not willing to be reasonable.

better channels

They should call off the strike. There are better channels to use at this moment than striking. Since they are not willing to negotiate a reasonable payment schedule in the boardroom, take them to the courtroom and force them to honour the contract that they have signed.

The Supreme Court and, by extension, the International Labour Organisation are at your disposal. Demonstrate that we are beyond base thinking and use these channels to get what is due to you.

I am, etc.,