Black Immigrant Daily News
Wage negotiations between the Government and some public sector employees are set to continue for longer than the Administration wanted, as the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) on Friday rejected the latest wage offer during a special delegates’ conference of the association at Wolmer’s Boys’ School in Kingston.
The JTA, in a statement following the conference, said of the 585 delegates who cast a ballot, 560 voted ‘no’, with just 24 voting to accept.
It said it will be writing to the Ministry of Finance outlining the outcome of the meeting while seeking an improved offer and a request to return to the bargaining table at the earliest possible time.
The JTA called the conference following a week of consultations with its members across the island.
President of the 25,000-strong JTA, La Sonja Harrison, said the teachers’ union will continue to engage in discussions with the Government to ensure teachers are given a ‘liveable salary’.
“The teachers have mandated us; we will go back to the Ministry of Finance and, of course, ask of them to have a sit down with us as professionals of this nation, the pillars of this nation, deserving of respect, and that we sit at the table and continue the talks to iron out the remaining issues as it relates to the transitioning of the teachers from our current dispensation to that of the new, under the compensation review,” she said.
While Finance Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, has consistently expressed a preference for the matter of compensation for public sector workers to be concluded before the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, the JTA and the Jamaica Constabulary Force are major holdouts at this time.
Members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade who are also yet to accept the Government’s offer, are presently restive.