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JTA says meeting records do not support Thwaites IMF claims

Published:Thursday | June 13, 2013 | 10:05 AM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) has drawn on documentary evidence to support its claim that the education minister did not disclose all the details of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme relating to education.

JTA president Clayton Hall has said there was no prior communication from Ronald Thwaites about the announced changes to long-standing leave benefits and a freeze on hiring of new teachers for this year.

At a St Andrew parish meeting yesterday, Hall read excerpts of minutes from meetings with the education ministry in March, which he says record the minister refusing to disclose documents requested by the JTA under the then IMF proposal.

Hall said the Minister should produce the records to prove that the JTA had given its support for a freeze on the hiring of new teachers this year.

Hall said while there were discussions on reforming the study leave system to take account of new hiring policies at a February 12 meeting, there was no indication that the Ministry meant elimination and freezing of teacher employment.

Earlier this week, Thwaites said his ministry and the JTA had discussions over the last 12 months regarding the number of teachers who are unemployed and the likelihood of an increase in numbers.

The JTA and the education ministry have been at a stand-off over proposed changes to leave entitlements since a parliamentary announcement on May 15.


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