JIS News

Education Minister, Honourable Andrew Holness, has assured teachers that they will be paid what is owed to them, beginning in April 2010.
“There are some constraints that Government is required to balance. We ran into a credibility problem with our teachers and we do not want to damage our credibility with the teachers any further. We made an agreement with you and the circumstances changed so dramatically that we were not able to honour the agreement on the timely fashion that we should have done,” he said, adding that it was in the Government’s interest to make the retroactive salary payment accessible to teachers over a span of three years, with the first payment being made in April 2010.
Minister Holness was addressing the final day (April 19) of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s (JTA) 45th Annual Conference, which was held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
Explaining the retroactive payment plan, the Minister said that the teachers should expect to receive a larger portion of the amount owing to them in the first year, noting that the amount would decline thereafter until it was completed in the third year.
“We have also agreed that we will pay interest in the second year of 5 per cent and on the third year, at 5 per cent,” he informed.
He said the Government was taking the best approach at this time, so as to ensure that the balance owing to the teachers was paid.
The Minister said he is appealing to teachers to exercise patience as the Government puts plans into action and work to meet their needs.
“What I want to establish is that I have always extended my hands to the JTA, please do not clench your fists. It is by holding hands on the tough issues that we are going to be able to move the entire country along,” he said.

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