JTA to call emergency meeting on leave issue
Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor – Radio
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has called a meeting of its general council for Tuesday to discuss the government’s move to change the leave entitlements of its members.
During his Sectoral Debate presentation yesterday, Thwaites said the Ministry has suspended the granting of study leave to teachers on the grounds that it is unsustainable and unaffordable.
The Minister also announced that changes will be made to the vacation and sick leave system because the associated cost is unsustainable.
However, the JTA president, Clayton Hall says teachers are perturbed by this move by the government and teachers will fight it.
Hall notes that the current policy on vacation leave is one of the reasons teachers accepted being paid at 80 per cent of market value.
Hall has issued a call to action in a message sent to teachers in which he tells them to get ready for a revolution.
He says teachers must now indicate their dissatisfaction with what he has described as the short-sighted and retrograde step proposed by the education minister.
Teachers are allowed 40 days leave on full pay and another 28 days more on half pay, while after two years of service, a teacher is eligible for one year fully paid study leave.
Thwaites said it costs the Government $2.5 billion per year to cover teachers on study leave, with $574 million owed to schools for substitute teachers.
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