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Education minister overstepped on leave issue – JTA

Published:Monday | May 27, 2013 | 11:36 AM

Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor – Radio



The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is claiming the education minister Ronald Thwaites overstepped his authority when he announced changes to the leave entitlements of teachers.




During his Sectoral Debate presentation recently, Thwaites said the Ministry had suspended the granting of study leave to teachers because it is unaffordable.



However, during a national broadcast last night, the JTA president Clayton Hall, said such matters are not the education minister’s prerogative and vowed the association would use every possible means to fight it.



He argues that such benefits are negotiated with the finance ministry as they form part of the wage contract.



Hall also says the education minister appears to misunderstand the facts regarding the granting of vacation and study leave to teachers.



He also says it’s interesting that study leave benefits are being suspended at the same time that the quality of the output of teachers is being criticised.



The JTA president says the association has proposed to government a way it could avoid paying substitute teachers when teachers go off on study leave.



The education minister had said the government currently owes $574 million to schools for substitute teachers.



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