Government Expects Normality at Public Schools Monday Morning


Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has said that he expects all public schools to function normally on Monday morning (May 10), following the Order issued by the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) on Saturday.
Mr. Charles explained that the matter is now fully in the hands of the IDT, following his referral of the dispute last week, and he expects that the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) will abide by the ruling of the Tribunal, which is legally binding under the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act (LRIDA).
“I am hoping that the Order will be obeyed and the deliberations at the IDT commence Wednesday, as scheduled, so that the matter can be settled as quickly as possible,” Mr. Charles told JIS News Sunday.
The IDT issued an Order on Saturday for normality to be maintained in the public school system, following a threat by the teachers to withdraw their services on Monday and Tuesday. The Tribunal has also scheduled a meeting for Wednesday (May 12) to start hearing the dispute.
Section 12 (5) of the LRIDA empowers the IDT to, if it is satisfied that industrial action is threatened, “order that such industrial action shall not take place”.
The Tribunal is to arbitrate on the claims of both the JTA, representing the island’s Government paid teachers, and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, regarding a plan for disbursement of outstanding retroactive pay owed to the teachers following recent pay alignments.
The JTA wants the Ministry to pay 50 per cent of the $8 billion that is outstanding this year, but the Ministry says it is constrained by its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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